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Friday, May 22, 1998

Unreal 1.01  [10:49 PM EDT]
Epic's Unreal Site has got the Unreal 1.01 patch (235 KB) up already (thanks Unreal Kingdom), adding the ability to launch games through the web. Here's an explanation:

Unreal v1.01 update patch is now available! This update allows players to join multiplayer games by clicking on links to "*.unreal" files from their web browser.

".unreal" files are simple ini files which tell the player's machine the location and port the server is running on. Links work in both MS Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator (v2.0 and above).

".unreal" files are simple 2 line INI files. They should look like this:

[UnreaLaunch]
Server=address.of.server.com:portnumber

You can specify a server using either its hostname or an IP address. The port number is optional. Examples shown below:

[UnreaLaunch]
Server=server.unreal.com:7777

or
[UnreaLaunch]
Server=208.212.53.37

will both launch to the same server.

Next-Gen's Unreal Award  [10:49 PM EDT]
Next Generation Online's Unreal Review is already up, and they are so crazy about it they cooked up an Editor's Choice award just so they could give it one.

More Sin Art  [9:00 PM EDT]
Phoebus has come up with another Sin-ful GoodieTM on HardCorps SiN News in the form of yet more Sin artwork suitable for wallpaper, in both 1024x728 and 800x600 resolutions.

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Wide World o' Games (Updated)

Warcraft Adventures Cancelled  [7:17 PM EDT]
Word up GameSpot News is that Warcraft Adventures have been Axed by Blizzardsaying "While this has been an extremely difficult decision, we firmly believe that we cannot release a title that does not meet the exceptionally high standards that both we and our customers expect from the Blizzard label."

Myth II  [6:07 PM EDT]
Saw on OGR that Bungie has announced Myth II, and then on Voodoo Extreme they fleshed out the story a bit more by discovering a new Myth II page (with a screenshot. already).

Babbage's Sponsors CPL  [7:17 PM EDT]
The CPL has announced that Babbage's has become a sponsor of the Cyberathlete Professional League, and Babbage’s will also become the key sponsor of the upcoming QuakeCon CPL tournament, starting July 23-26.

Sample Unreal Map for Authors  [6:07 PM EDT]
Unreal Level Designer T. Elliot Cannon, AKA Myscha the Sled Dog, sent along a sample map (43 KB) that aspiring editing types can dissect in UnrealEd (included with the game) to get a handle on Unreal editing. Though the map isn't meant to play, it provides examples of the following:

Daikatana Weapons (Including the Big D)  [6:07 PM EDT]
The fourth armory of Daikatana weapons are up on the ION Storm site showing off the weapons that will be seen at E3 from the third (medieval) episode of the game, as well as the Daikatana itself. The other implements of destruction on display are the Silverclaw, the Bolter, Stavros' Stave (Kojak fans?), and Nharre’s Nightmare. The Daikatana is described like this:

The Daikatana gains strength as the game progresses. The sword has a maximum of 6 power levels that are attained only by vanquishing enough enemies with the sword to gain levels.

Daikatana Chat  [6:07 PM EDT]
The log for last night's Daikatana Cabana chat with the ION guys is up on StormTroopers.

Unreal First Impressions  [6:07 PM EDT]
I noticed on Redwood's that OGR's Unreal first impressions are up, with a full review promised soon.

The Unseen: Not a Q2 Mission Pack  [4:34 PM EDT - Update]
Since posting this story about the Quake 2 Mission Pack Unseen, I've found out that this is not an authorized mission pack, learning from id CEO Todd Hollenshead that this is the first he's heard of it. Since calling a product a Quake II Mission Pack without authorization from id is copyright infringement, and Tequila Sunstorm, the team making the project, has informed me that the name will probably be changed. According to Tequila Sunstorm, the project is to be published by One Stop, a UK division of GT Interactive, and I've asked them for a comment, but the time difference makes me think it will be a while before I hear from them.

John Carmack's Unreal Review  [3:42 PM EDT]
Okay, I'm just kidding, it's not a review, but Mr. Carmack did post a reaction in his .plan:

Congratulations to Epic, Unreal looks very good.

3Dfx FAQ  [3:42 PM EDT]
Lasse Lehtinen has updated his highly detailed 3Dfx Voodoo and Voodoo 2 FAQ with new information up through the newly released beta 2 of 3Dfx's Open GL ICD.

Q2 Mission Packs 1 and  2 & Q264 at E3  [3:24 PM EDT]
I just confirmed with Phoebus over at Activision that they will be showing off both Quake II Mission Packs 1 & 2 from Xatrix and Rogue respectively, as well as Quake II for the N64 at E3 in Atlanta next week.

Shogo Preview  [2:17 PM EDT]
There's a lengthy new preview of Shogo: Armor Division on OGR showing off Monolith's upcoming LithEngine game.

Quake II Mission Pack: The Unseen  [12:50 PM EDT]
I've seen no word of this from GT Interactive, or anywhere else, but according to the Quake 2 Mission Pack Unseen page, this project, described as offering 12 new weapons, eight new enemies, four new bosses, 13 single player levels, and 15 new deathmatch levels, is going to be published by GT Interactive.

Sin Preview  [12:50 PM EDT]
GameSpot UK presents PC Gaming World's Sin Preview with a hands on look at Ritual's upcoming shooter.

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More Quake/Quake II Mods
A follow-up on today's first dose of mods.

Stroggs Gone Mad  [12:50 PM EDT]
Version 1.2.01 of legion's Stroggs Gone Mad patch is now available. SGM enhances the Quake II single-player experience by beefing up the enemy AI, giving them bot-like routes through the levels. There are also a few more pre-calculated route files available of download on the SGM page.

Front-end Mania  [12:50 PM EDT]
An alpha version of the ToolKit is up on GSLogMod page basically providing the source of their logging mods. Also, version 0.4 of MOTD Edit, a message of the Day program, is up on the QNM page. This program sounds like a boon to server ops, providing some neat features, including mouse support, and also completely interfaces with the new Viking Control Panel version 0.98.02 (as does the Quake Name Maker), now available on the Stormtroopers Of Death Network. The Viking Front-end is a Windows 95/NT front-end for the Viking Mod version 0.98 created by SGT-D, who is now the maintainer of the Viking mod as well..

Quake II 3.15 Correction (Next Friday)  [11:25 AM EDT - Update]
I originally messed this up: The Reckoning is not due on shelves today, but next Friday. Sorry about causing confusion. Here's the deal: In our conversation on QuakeCast last night, Zoid made an interesting revelation: the updated QuakeII 3.15 is the version included in the Quake II mission pack, the Reckoning, which Kevin from Activision tells me will be on shelves as early as next Friday. Zoid says that 3.15, in testing for over a month now, is done, and that the current tests are making sure everything is set with the installer to patch existing versions. That installer they are testing should be available "soon."

Blood 2 Update  [9:16 AM EDT]
Weekly update #5 is up on Monolith's Blood 2 Site with some screenshots showing off some of the clever aspects of the game's interface and menu system they've cooked up, as well as a bonus shot of the game's spellbook. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

More Nocturne & FLY! Screenshots  [9:16 AM EDT]
Today's GameSlice editorial has new screenshots from the two new games from TRI, offering three new spooky dark shadowy screenshots from Nocturne, and 2 fly new jobbies from FLY!

Quake State  [9:16 AM EDT]
Meant to mention yesterday that Anders, ex-mate of Wicked and Sharky and the rest of the inmates over at VE has completed a move to the AVault where they are now the home to his Quake State article that gives the lowdown on running Quake on lots of different hardware setups.

Socket X  [9:16 AM EDT]
A bootNet blurb gives more details about Micron's & Rendition's just announced joint project on a graphics architecture called Socket X that will allow system manufacturers to plug different choices of graphics chips directly into the motherboard, without re-engineering the whole shebang.

Sticker Shock at Tom's  [9:16 AM EDT]
Tom's Hardware Guide has a follow-up to yesterday's post about starting a pay are of his website, saying that the plan is misunderstood, declaring that this will only make the free area better.

Incoming Preview  [9:16 AM EDT]
AVault has posted a review of Incoming.

Unrealistic CD Promise  [2:37 AM EDT]
Epic MegaGames' Tim Sweeney dropped a line to admit that his statement that Unreal would not have copy protection was, well, unrealistic. Here's what he had to say:

After I went online and said "Unreal will not require the CD in the drive to play", the vast majority of my coworkers at Epic, Digital Extremes, and GT came to me saying they felt that was a bad idea.  After a lot of debate, their continued reasoning turned me to the Dark Side.   So, the retail Unreal does a CD-check at startup.  This doesn't prevent listening to CD's while playing (you can do that after the CD check), or installing multiple copies for LAN play, and passing the CD around at startup, but it does mean you need to have stick the CD in the drive before startup.

I appoligize for speaking too soon on this issue, and saying what turned out to be untrue.  That was lame, and I'm sorry.

Unreal Shareware Status  [2:37 AM EDT]
Here's the latest on the status of the Unreal shareware, according to some statements on IRC and an Unreal MegaBoard post by Mark Rein (seen on Voodoo Extreme):

Unfortunately I think Tim forgot that early next week is E3. Because of other things we have to do for the retail release, including French, Italian, German and Spanish versions, and the fact that we're all leaving for E3 early next week, there is no way Unreal Shareware can be released before E3. It's not fair to our publisher to leave these whole countries waiting while we work on the shareware. It will be sometime after E3. When we know the exact date we'll let you guys know. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

GameSpy 2.0 - Unreal Support  [2:37 AM EDT]
Mark "Bastard" Surfas made a .plan update revealing that GameSpy 2.0 should be released tonight or tomorrow featuring Unreal support. They are also running some Unreal servers over at Bastage's House of Pancakes, if you have the game and are looking for a deathmatch.

BoatRocker Log  [2:37 AM EDT]
There's a log of last night's IRC session with the gang at Rebel Boat Rocker up on BoatRocker.com.

Sin and Win  [2:37 AM EDT]
There's a contest up on Activision's Sin page that can win you a Pure 3D: they're holding a drawing  a week, with Sin baseball caps to be won as well. Thanks Lorien at PsychoNews.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

ThunderWalker II  [2:37 AM EDT]
Version 1.62 of ThunderWalker CTF is up on ThunderWalker CTF's House of Fixins, as both new client and a new server files, fixing the "screwed up pak6.pak."

Quake Name Maker  [2:37 AM EDT]
Version 1.01 of the Quake Name Maker is out, offering a fix to one small bug and a couple of installer issues found in the 1.0 release of this fun name creation program for Quake.

Front-end  [2:37 AM EDT]
Version 1.50 of the Eraser Bot Launcher is now available adding dozens of fixes and enhancements.

SpecOps Review  [2:37 AM EDT]
GameSpot's Spec Ops Review is up, giving it a 6.8. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Recoil Preview  [2:37 AM EDT]
GameSpot's preview of Recoil takes an look at this upcoming 3D action title from Zipper Interactive that puts you in the command of a tank called the BFT (nope, that's what I thought too, but they say it's a Battle Force Tank).

Out of the Blue
A couple of comments on the time stamps wondered why they are so darn big. The answer is that they are not supposed to be, but there may be some combination of browser/OS setups and font tags that have caused a result I haven't foreseen, so if you are experiencing oddly large timestamps, and feel like helping work it out, feel free to drop me a line with as many details about your setup as you can include (including which, if any, of the Verdana, Helvetica, or Arial fonts you have installed), and I'll try and figure out where the problem lies (call it a bug fix). Update - after a few responses I changed the tag, and suspect it will work properly now. Can anyone who was having the problem before tell me if it's fixed?

Thursday, May 21, 1998

GameTime [6:41 PM EDT]
For your Real audio and video pleasure, GameTime, tonight on the All Games Network converses with Billy Wilson from Voodoo Extreme, as part of their 3D Thursday (followed by QuakeCast... oops, look at the time... gotta run!).

Another I'82 Interview [5:32 PM EDT]
Another Zack Norman Interstate 82 Interview is out, this one on Gamesmania, talking more about the sequel to Interstate '76. Thanks Turambar. This gives me an opportunity to correct an error in my initial reporting of yesterday's I'82 interview, which was also with Zack, not Joe McCloud as I said at first: Joe is the Games.Net editor who did the interview (doh!).

Pure3D II Bundle Update [5:32 PM EDT]
A discrepancy in the info posted in the scoop posted earlier predicting the inclusion of the Quake II mission pack, The Reckoning with the Pure 3D II bundle, and the official announcement, is that those who have already received their Pure 3D II cards will automatically receive the game via priority mail, and will not have to call in. Thanks Buzzman for pointing that out.

QuakeCast [4:28 PM EDT]
Tonight on the QuakeCast, Joost Loony, and I will be speaking with Jason McIntosh of the Nightfall Quake II project, John 'Hal 9000' Schuch of Uberfest, and id's own Zoid to chat about about QuakeWorld 2.2+, Quake II 3.15, CTF and other Zoidly matters. The festivities, as always, kick off at 8:00 PM Eastern time, and yes, RealPlayer is required.

.plans [4:28 PM EDT]
3D Realms' Chris Johnson has the link of the day posted in his .plan showing that video games provide a service (paraphrased quote of the day from Mr. Hand: "What are you people... on dopamine?"). Also R.I.P. to Zeus, who sounds like he was an interesting little guy while he was around. Condolences to Eric Biessman who has Zeus's story in his .plan. I wanted to make sure all the racing news was in (there are usually so many updates for these) before mentioning the recent day at the races for the Dallas gaming scene. Here's host John Carmack's update, as well as updates from Disruptor, Brian Hook, and Scott Miller (though now I think I must have missed one or two).

PlanetUnreal [4:28 PM EDT]
Was it just yesterday that I made a joke about PlanetRebelBoatRocker? (Nope, I just checked, it was Tuesday.) Well, all kidding aside, the boys at PlanetQuake are cooking up another corner of their universe: PlanetUnreal, slated to launch tomorrow (I'm beginning to suspect I know where the UNA guys, who recently announced their closing may end up).

Tom for Pay? [4:28 PM EDT]
In an interesting development in the area of web-based information services, a post on Tom's Hardware Guide suggests that some parts of Tom's famed resource are going to become pay services.

Shogo Level Design Contest [3:33 PM EDT]
Monolith is offering the opportunity for those with editing skills or aspirations to create a level to be included in the shipping version of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division:

Monolith is holding a Shogo level design contest! Be one of the winners and your level will be shipped along with the full version of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division! In addition, you will also win a bunch of awesome prizes like a 12 MB Voodoo2 and a signed copy of Shogo! Winning levels will be included in Shogo with full credit to the designer

- Download the LithTech Engine demo:
The LithTech Editor you will use to create your winning level is part of the LithTech Engine demo. The LithTech Engine demo is available at http://www.lithtech.com. Be sure to follow all of the instructions carefully so that you can properly run the Editor.

- Download the SHOGO level maker pack:
You will need the SHOGO level maker pack to texture your levels. You can download it here: ftp://ftp.shogo-mad.com/pub/texture_pak.zip

For the full list of prizes and rules please visit
http://www.shogo-mad.com

ION & NovaLogic's E3 Plans [3:33 PM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault has a report on ION's E3 plans which are to showcase Dominion: Storm Over Gift3, and Daikatana (thanks LaRd of the Quake Workshop 2). Also OGR is reporting NovaLogic's E3 line-up, which naturally consists of a pair of flight-sims, but also will include Delta Force, described as a ground-based action game with real-time combat simulation features.

Anachronox Interview [3:33 PM EDT]
An interview with Josh Jay: "Anachronox Texture doG" is up on Anachronically Correct on StormTroopers.

Two New TRI Games Announced [2:56 PM EDT]
Gathering of Developers and Terminal Reality, Inc. (g.o.d. and TRI) have announced a pair of games to be developed by TRI and released by g.o.d. First up is FLY!, one of those hyper-realistic flight games with air traffic controllers and flight plans and stuff, and the other is Nocturne, a 19th century Lovecraftian adventure mystery where you hunt ghosts vampires and Zombies (where's Karl Kolchak when you need him?). The lads at OGR have already got the goods on these with some truly impressive photographic-looking screenshots of FLY!, and some really dark shots of Nocturne showing off some impressive light and shadow techniques in their story of the announcement.

Sin Wallpaper [2:56 PM EDT]
HardCorps SiN News has a Sin-ful GoodieTM for anyone "feeling' kinda blue today" (that would be me every day!) in the form of a desktop wallpaper in both 800x600 and 1024x768 resolutions.

Unreal Cheat Codes [2:31 PM EDT]
Without the game, I can't verify these. but since I've seen reports of Unreal already appearing on shelves (surprising, but not altogether impossible, I suppose), I can't resist the opportunity to provide a little scoop with these (hopefully accurate) cheat codes from Unreal, passed along by Dale Rector. To use the codes, hit <TAB>, enter the code, and hit <Enter>. I posted them on a separate page after someone (quite correctly) pointed out as a spoiler it should be your choice whether you peek or not. Sorry about that.

CGDC 3D Lowdown [2:31 PM EDT]
PC Games CGDC Chip Prospective is online giving the impressions of the Games.Net staff on the video technology shown off at the recent CGDC. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

PowerVR, Sega, MS Console [9:59 AM EDT]
PowerVR has finally officially announced their partnership with Sega to supply PowerVR Second-Generation technology for Sega's next-generation consoles in this press release. Thanks Warlock. The partnership will result in the Dreamcast console system, set for release in Japan in November 1998, and in the rest of the world in 1999, as described in this NewsWire Article (thanks Lorien at PhychoNews), which also describes Microsoft's involvement in the project. MS is to to provide an optimized version of Microsoft Windows CE with integrated DirectX as the operating system for use with Dreamcast.

Half-Life: Mike Harrington Interview [9:59 AM EDT]
Valve's Mike Harrington is interviewed over on Contaminated.Net talking about his history in the industry, and of course, Half-Life.

More E3 Coverage [9:59 AM EDT]
More on E3 from today's GameSlice editorial talking more about what's going to be shown off there, and Gibbed @ E3 is all set to bring you their on-the-spot coverage from Atlanta.

Freespace Demo Patch [4:05 AM EDT]
Volition has released a patch for the playable Descent: Freespace demo that fixes a bunch of bugs and adds additional hardware support. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Energy Quake [4:05 AM EDT]
Now available is a new version 1.1 of Energy Quake, a server-only Quake II mod where the goal is to transport energy cells to the end of the map, losing energy to attacks along the way.

Linux ST Weapons Factory [4:05 AM EDT]
A Linux Version of ST Weapons Factory for Quake II is out, and a beta Linux server is up at 208.216.222.254. Thanks Prophet.

Front-end [4:05 AM EDT]
Version 2.04 of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is out.

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Chat and More Chat
Two new chat sessions today and the aftermath of yesterday's (today is the QuakeCast, as well):

Daikatana Cabana Chat [4:05 AM EDT]
Tonight at 8:00 PM Central time (9:00 Eastern), the Daikatana Cabana will be conducting an online chat with the Daikatana team. The chat can be accessed through ION Storm's website, or by connecting an IRC client to www.ionstorm.com, and going to channel #daikatana.

Rebel Boat Rocker Chat [4:05 AM EDT]
BoatRocker.com is celebrating their launch with a chat with some of the Rebel Boat Rocker guys tonight at 7:00 PM Central (8:00 PM Eastern), in 3dnet IRC #rbr.

Shogo Log [4:05 AM EDT]
The Shogo Chat Log from the Gamers-Zone session yesterday is online, color-coded, and everything.

BattleZone Add-on News [4:05 AM EDT]
Some tidbits about the BattleZone add-on Activision is currently working on gleaned from the BZ chat yesterday are up on the BattleZone Ladder, where they hope to post a log as soon as its available.

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StoryTime
A couple of sites soliciting stories, of course, remember that The Quake Literary Guild is another great source of gaming verbiage, if you feel like reading or writing some.

PicPage [4:05 AM EDT]
Siren sends word that The Pic Page is looking for submissions of stories to post, be it a tale of your favorite frag, or an account of your favorite LAN party, stop on by and see how to send it in.

Hexen Stories [4:05 AM EDT]
Hexen Mythos is a new site up on HexenWorld described by Phoebus like this:

a virtual literary publishing house for the Hexen Universe! Go there to browse, to read in-depth, and to submit YOUR Heretic-Hexen inspired fantasies! This is truly a site that's FOR the HexenWorld Community, BY the HexenWorld Community.

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Bundles of Joy
A couple of Voodoo2 card bundle updates:

Reckoning with a Pure3D II [4:05 AM EDT]
Cyrellis 3D Games & Hardware is reporting that Canopus and Activision will announce today that a copy of the Quake II mission pack will be added to all Pure 3D II and Pure 3D II LX cards sold, with no price increase. Customers who already have their cards will be able to call and get a copy of the pack as well.

Monster 3D Truck Madness [4:05 AM EDT]
Diamond Multimedia announced yesterday that Monster Truck Madness 2 has been added to the bundle to ship with their 12 MB Monster 3D II. the bundle now includes Incoming (full), Battle Zone (full), and Monster Truck Madness 2 (full). MTM2 is in stores now, by the way.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Wow, I never would have imagined that there would be so much positive feedback to the time stamps in each story (let's just call the response a flood). The stamps are something that I decided against long ago (long story), but would have to say are a keeper now given the response. Another change I'm playing with is just one day of news on the current news page (initial reraction was displeased: it's back to two again already). By the way, if it's been a while since I've mentioned my appreciation for the encouraging email people take the time to send in, let me do so now, because it really is greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Interstate '82 Interview [8:38 PM EDT]
PC Games interviews Zack Norman, director, writer, and lead designer on Interstate '82, Activision's upcoming sequel to Interstate '76. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

New WinAmp [8:38 PM EDT]
Really pretty far afield of gaming, but I don't know many people who don't use WinAmp, which is now up to version 1.91. Thanks Randy Perry.

Wide World of Gaming - Myth 1.3 [7:55 PM EDT - Updated]
Saw on OGR that "Bungie announced the release of Myth: The Fallen Lords version 1.3 patch," that makes the game completely customizable, but I see on AVault (as seen on VE) the the patch isn't actually available, but is in beta testing.

Unreal Shareware Status [6:37 PM EDT]
The Daily Dementia at the MeccaWorld has the first report I've seen (or in this RealAudio case, heard) on the status of the Unreal Shareware, which TC says will be available by the weekend according to a reliable source. This episode of the Dementia features a parental warning for language, and features interview victim Dave Taylor of Crack dot Com on Golgotha talking about everything from the game's politically charged plot to what the game's name is about.

Sin Deathmatch at UberFest [5:48 PM EDT]
onethumb updated his .plan with word that a sampling of Sin deathmatch is on the slate for attendees of the UberFest in Atlanta concurrent with E3:

Woop, E3's just around the corner...

Just got done working out the details of Sin at UberFest -- looks like it's going to happen! That's right, if you're going to UberFest, you'll get to take a good close look at the game and we'll probably have a few quick "first to 5 frags" deathmatches. Should be very good.

That's scheduled for 8pm-ish on Friday night, so if you're going, mark your planner or whatever. :)

If you aren't going, and want to, check out my plan update below. It's definitely going to be fun... whole bunch of "industry" folks are coming (current lists include John Romero, Blue, Billy Wilson of Voodoo Extreme, myself, and who knows who all else... it should be a blast).

http://uberfest.e3.net/

AOL to Buy ICQ [5:48 PM EDT]
Israel's Business Arena is reporting that AOL plans to purchase Mirabilis, creators of ICQ, for $300 Million. Thanks gary7.

More Reckoning Screenshots [5:08 PM EDT]
Kevin Kraff over at Activision sent along some screenshots from Xatrix's just completed Quake II mission pack, the Reckoning, and while a few were from the ones posted on GameSpot earlier, I'm pretty sure these three are new:

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Daikatana's E3 Deadlies [4:19 PM EDT]
The ever more content-filled ION Storm website today offers up screenshots of four bad guys, one from each of the game's four episodes, selected from the bevy of over 20 baddies they plan on unveiling at E3 in Atlanta at the end of the month. From episode one is the Rage Master, from the second episode, a Griffon, from the third the Dardic Dwarf (no relation to Hank as far as I know), and finally, from episode four, a Lab Monkey (no relation to Dr. Mephisto's assistant as far as I know).

E3 E3 E3 [4:19 PM EDT]
Speaking of E3, there are a couple of those articleditorial dealies up on GameSlice on the subject, today's on some of the new games scheduled to debut at the show from Activision; Fox Interactive; GT Interactive; Westwood; and more, and yesterday's talking of the odd history of celebrity appearances at the show. Also, Unreal.org has an article up called e3 98 - More Blowed-Up Than Ever, AKA Sumbry]['s Guide to a Bigger and Better E3. Also, Prophet has posted an article called Shiny's Dave Perry Joins E3 Developers Super Session that is pretty much self-explanatory.

Reckoning Q2 Mission Pack Gold [3:55 PM EDT]
id CEO Todd Hollenshead dropped a line to pass along word that the first official Quake II mission pack, the Reckoning, from Xatrix Entertainment, has been mastered, has gone off to manufacture, and will be appearing on store shelves as soon as they can get it out there.

Independence War Preview [3:48 PM EDT]
OGR has pumped out one of their giant previews, this time taking a look towards Independence War, an upcoming space-sim from Particle Systems based on their European release from last year, I-War. The twist here compared to games like Wing Commander Prophecy, is that you are piloting a dreadnought class spaceship (does size matter?). The preview talks of stunning 3D graphics, and shows them off with a bunch of screenshots, and also notes that Voodoo2 specific support is promised.

Urban Assualt Beta Test Sign-ups [3:40 PM EDT]
Sign-ups are currently underway to apply to be a beta tester for Microsoft's Urban Assault. A link to sign-up, and links to the 18 websites where sign-ups are also being accepted are on this page.

Demystifying 3D Graphics Technology [3:12 PM EDT]
Demystifying 3D Graphics Technology is an informative article that tries to describe such commonly heard 3D technology phrases as 'hidden surface removal' and 'MIP mapping' in an understandable light (albeit PowerVR-centric, as pointed out by trauma) for the non-technical. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

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Chit-a-Chat
[2:00 PM EDT - Updated]

BattleZone Chat
Prophet sends a reminder that PC Games' Pre E3 Chat with George Collins, Lead Designer on BattleZone (the chat is described on this page), is scheduled for tonight at 5:00 PM Pacific (8:00 PM Eastern).

Shogo Chat Tonight
A Shogo Online Chat is being conducted this evening by Gamers-Zone. The festivities kick off at 7:00 PM Eastern time in efnet IRC #gamers-zone.Email richard@gamers-zone.com if you have any questions to contribute to their interview with the guys from Monolith about their upcoming animé inspired 3D game.

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Quake/Quake II Mods
[12:45 PM EDT - Updated]

ThunderWalker II
Version 1.61 of ThunderWalker II for Quake II is out on ThunderWalker CTF's House of Fixins. The new release is for both clients and servers, in both Windows and Linux flavors, with Solaris files promised later today. The Panda o' Fire, who highly recommends upgrading as this version is vastly improved, says that this is likely the last upgrade before ThunderWalker II 2.0.

Clarification
By the way, I want to correct a misconception I posted in the blurb about the Expert Quake for Quake II release yesterday that the mod is geared towards configurability, which really distracts from the true main emphasis of the patch which is to remove random factors to create a totally skill-based game.

Quake Log Parsers/Front-ends
Version 1.8a of GibStats II, the log-parser deluxe for Quake II is out, offering fixes to bugs in HTML output in version 1.8. The first release of Q-Start, a Quake front-end is on this (German language) page.

Turok 2 Announced - Deathmatch Included [11:00 AM EDT]
I saw on OGR that Acclaim has officially announced Turok 2: The Seeds of Evil. Included in this planned sequel to Turok: Dinosaur Hunter will be the most requested feature missing from its predecessor, multiplayer gameplay, with support for deathmatch and co-op for up to 16 players on a LAN or on the Internet. Here's a bit more:

According to Acclaim, the engine will support real-time body impact physics and advanced real-time lighting (using up to 10 dynamic lights at once for flickering firelight and water shimmering effects). Turok 2 is shooting for an October release and will require 3D hardware.

Real Unreal Release Date [10:00 AM EDT]
One question more than a few confused readers from outside the US have asked is "when is Memorial day?" since that was the vague release date mentioned the Unreal goes gold press release. Memorial Day weekend in the US is this weekend, and Unreal will be in stores as early as Friday: Here is the text of the message GT Interactive sent to those who registered to receive notice of the game's completion (seen on Unreal.Org), that also reiterates the lack of details currently available on the status of a shareware version:

You should start to see Unreal in stores this Friday. Just in time for you to enjoy a long Memorial Day Weekend. A limited quantity is being shipped this first week, so if you want to be first, we recommend that you get out to your favorite store early.

The development team is working on the downloadable demo as you read this. We'll let you know the moment it is ready.

And this post to the Unreal MegaMessageBoard by Mark Rein (also seen on the ORG) gives a bit more on the deal with ordering Unreal:

We will probably start taking orders for Unreal on Friday. We hope to announce our pricing and configurations either today or tomorrow.

No you won't get Unreal fastest by buying through Epic. The fastest way to buy it will always be to walk in a store and pick up a copy. But you will get excellent value and fast shipping and, for the initial orders (while supplies last) we're planning to offer one of the Unreal merchandise items at an extra special price when you order it with Unreal.

More details to come.

Wide World of Gaming - Commandos [10:00 AM EDT]
Eidos Interactive has released a playable demo of Commandos - Behind Enemy Lines (does the middle guy in that logo look like Moe Howard from the 3 Stooges to you too?), a real-time strategy game that emphasizes combat tactics. The demo doesn't seem to be on the Eidos site yet, but is available for download on PsychoNews, where the screenshots look pretty damn cool.

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Technology - The Need for Speed
[10:00 AM EDT]

Glide 3.0 Times Three?
Voodoo Unlimited Power has a couple of posts 3Dfx's Brian Bruning that talk their upcoming version 3.0 of Glide that has the potential to speed up video data transfers by as much at three times. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

DirextX6 - Zoom
Monolith's Jeremy (Loki) Blackman's .plan has word on early impressive preliminary results running their upcoming LithTech engine under Microsoft's upcoming DirectX 6.0 (thanks PsychoNews):

Well, Mike's gotten LithTech running (preliminary) under DirectX 6.

Microsoft has really, finally, given us a real 3D API.

We've seen a speed boost of, according to Mike, 20 to 100 percent in framerates! And this is only a BETA of DX6! Granted, it doesn't look like there are many changes in DirectDraw, but all the 2D DirectX stuff mostly worked beforehand; it was 3D that needed help.

I look forward to his having the internal build ready for us to play with at the end of the week; I'll have to go snag myself a DX6 CD and try it out. :)

HR Free - Zoom!
Finally, on the subject of the need for speed, Monolith Web dood Paul Butterfield made a .plan update that tugs at the heartstrings: he never says anything newsworthy enough for posting. But now he's changed all that, making the startling announcement that he has speed up operation of Monolith's website by has much as 20%, by going back to the drawing board, and reworking the site without all those inefficient <HR> tags (horizontal rules). Kudos Paul, and thanks to Jeremy Williams for correcting my HTML error.

New Reckoning Screenshots [1:25 AM EDT]
Missed these yesterday, five new screenshots of the Reckoning, the upcoming Quake II mission pack from Xatrix Entertainment, are up on GameSpot. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

New Doom Legacy [1:25 AM EDT]
Version 1.2 of Doom Legacy is now available, adding a few new wrinkles to Doom, including support for up to 32 players and a console (I do find myself attempting to hit the console in Doom since Quake's advent), free look (up and down), and much more. Thanks SoB.

Intel to License PII's [1:25 AM EDT]
Intel unlocks Pentium II is an article that describes Intel's licensing of the Pentium II's "P6 bus" to a third party, in a move that will spur competition in the processor market, and possibly mollify the Federal Trade Commission, who have been looking at Intel's stranglehold that market.

Out of the Blue [1:25 AM EDT]
Decided I was getting too structured in not posting in the wee hours much anymore (something that used to be the norm here), so decided to bust up a few patterns before rust sets in, hence the return of the red-eye updates the last couple of days. I do think I may reformat the whole days worth of news when I add stories in the morning, but then again, I may not (look at me, I'm out of control).

Tuesday, May 19, 1998

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Daikatana Previews

GameCenter Daikatana Sneak Peek
GameCenter's Sneak Peek at Daikatana is online sneaking its peek at all four of the game's worlds, giving a sense of what each episode is about. Thanks -CiDcO- of Stormtroopers.

3D Alpha's Daikatana Preview
3D Alpha's Daikatana  preview is online offering a brief overview of the game.

New DEMentED 2
Version 0.900 of the DEMentED 2 Quake II demo editor is now available. The new release offers dozens of fixes and new features, as well as a tutorial that PharCyde has this to say about:

"This is the first time that even a 3-year-old could create his (or her) own professional-looking Quake 2 movie! (If the lil' bastard takes the time to run through the tutorial :) "

Wide World of Yada Yada - Dune 2000 Q&A
There's a Dune 2000 Q&A up on GameSpot giving a look at Westwood's upcoming RTS game through the eyes of producer Lewis Peterson.

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The Image Gallery (Updated)

Shogo Wallpaper
The Shogo Mobile Armor Division page has five different high-resolution images suitable for Windows wallpaper (though not in 4x3 screen aspect ratio).

Blood 2 Wallpaper
There is new high resolution Blood 2 wallpaper featuring Ishmael in an action shot up on the Blood 2 The Chosen page.

Sinful Shot
HardCorps Images up on HardCorps SiN News has a new shot of Elexis, as Phoebus put it, "softer (tho' not kinder OR gentler").

Unreal Gold
As reported earlier: here's the press release. Here's an excerpt:

In anticipation of the retail release of Unreal, nearly 20,000 people have registered on GT Interactive Software's Web site to download a playable demo version of the game while more than 200 Unreal fan-based Web sites on the Internet spread the Unreal "word" with screen shots, game information and chat rooms. In addition, many of the sites are preparing to host Unreal servers for multi-player tournaments and level editing contests.

Unreal will ship with a fully functional beta version of Epic's Unreal Level Editor - an advanced 3D authoring tool which provides a sophisticated, yet easy-to-learn, method of creating 3D environments and objects by which players may create their own Unreal worlds. According to Computer & Net Player magazine, "if this doesn't bring level editing to the masses, nothing will." A feature-enhanced, fully supported and documented version of the Unreal Level Editor with additional 3D content and a tutorial is currently under development and will be released separately later this year.

Unreal will be available at retail outlets nationwide on Memorial Day Weekend at a suggested retail price of $54.95.

Robs the Rogue
It gives me a lot of pleasure to announce that a good friend and clanmate of mine has made good in the biz. I want to congratulate Rob Selitto (AKA Robs) on the announcement that he has been hired by Rogue Entertainment as a level designer for their just announced Quake II mission pack, Ground Zero. Congrats to Robs, and to Rogue as well: our LAN Parties' loss is their gain.

NT SoundBlaster Drivers
New Windows NT 4.0 drivers for SB16, SB32, AWE32, AWE64 and AWE64 Gold sound cards are up on the Creative Labs FTP site.

g.o.d.'s Payne
It has been announced that 3D Realms has struck a deal whereby the Gathering of Developers (g.o.d.), Mike Wilson's start-up game publisher will distribute 3D Realms' upcoming 3D shooter, Max Payne. Here's an excerpt from the press release giving a nice concise summary of the game (due for a Spring 1999 release):

Max Payne, a hardboiled, fugitive undercover cop is being framed for the murder of his boss.  A mission to revenge his slaughtered family is taking him on a bridge-burning, rock n' rolling rampage through the criminal underworld of New York City.  Max Payne, a lone hero, goes up   against a horde of stone-cold murdering mobsters, drug-enhanced killers, bad cops, professional assassins, corrupt politicians, and other diabolical masterminds lurking in the city's heart of darkness in this intense 3D action shooter.

Unreal Gold Follow-up
Just to follow-up on on the follow-up to the Unreal Gold story from earlier, I have on good authority (meaning it's true) that GT Interactive will be issuing the press release in a little while announcing that Unreal is gold, and is off to manufacturing as you read these words. My understanding is that it could be in stores as early as Friday.

QuakeWorld 2.21 Servers
QuakeWorld 2.21 is not out yet, but I saw on sCary's that some servers testing the new code are up (you can connect using 2.20 clients). Here are the locations:

r3v Clan Arena #1 128.95.25.94: 27500
r3v DM HELL 128.95.25.94: 27501

Interview - Billy Zelsnack
There's a Billy Zelsnack interview up on sCary's Sack o' Shuga' talking to the Rebel Boat Rocker skipper about PraxWar, their upcoming 3D shooter offering. Also, on the subject of RBR, BoatRocker.com, PQ's new site (no PlanetRebelBoatRocker?) devoted to the doings of these game designers/Hughes Corporation fans is now up and running.

Independence War Screenshots/Preview
Combat Simulations' I War preview has a look at Independence War, a space-sim comparable to Wing Commander Prophecy in presentation, offering a couple of screenshots. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Ground Zero Screenshots
The first two screenshots of Ground Zero, Rogue's just announced Quake II mission pack are up on GameSlice (didn't they score the first Hexen II screenshots way back when as well?).

Gore Screenshots
The 4D Rulers page has a new screenshot of Gore, the upcoming 3D shooter using the proprietary Amp game engine, and news of the Gore team's E3 plans. There's also word there that they will be featured in the July PC Gamer, including screenshots and an AVI.

More on Unreal Going Gold
PlanetQuake is reporting that contrary to Mark Rein's statement on OGR yesterday, Unreal has, in fact,  gone "gold" (into manufacturing for distribution), claiming some "insider info from sources close to the publisher." Thanks Chris Hill. To split hairs, my own understanding (let's call this on extremely good authority) is that a release candidate was delivered to GT yesterday and that if it's approved by their internal testing team, it could be declared gold and start pressing as early as this morning. Speaking of Unreal, it's the topic of the day on the Daily Dementia, where TC talks with Stonage from Unreal Nation, about the game in general, the plans for the shareware, and this darned "gold" issue.

Wide World of Gaming - Dune 2000 Trailer
Dune2K.Com has posted the MPEG format trailer (11.4 MB) for Dune 2000, the follow-up to the seminal Dune II (which paved the way for about a bazillion real-time strategy games), currently slated for a summer release. The movie runs about a minute long, and shows off gameplay, but mostly cutscenes, and there is also a screenshot of the day feature on the site. If that all captures your fancy there's also a contest to enter to win a copy of the game when it arrives. Thanks Moneypenny Publications.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Expert Quake
Version 2.1 of Expert Quake for Quake II, the highly configurable customization is out, adding client options for disabling color changes when underwater or when hit and viewpoint tilting when hit (discussed further on the Expert page), as ell as support for changing settings on a per-level basis. The main goal of Expert Quake is to eliminate random factors from the game to place the ultimate emphasis on skill.

Rhino Model
A model called the Rhino that did not make it into the upcoming Quake/Quake II deathmatch pack, Disposable Heroes, has been released as a plug-in player model on The Coven Home Page.

New idGamma
RivaZone has a new version 1.2a of idGamma, the utility to compensate for the darkness of Quake and Quake II under RIVA OpenGL. Thanks SemperFi.

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*reviews

SEED
A look at SEED up on PsychoNews takes a first look at this unusual sounding game, described as a 3D action shooter.

PraxWar
GameCenter looks at PraxWar, upcoming from Rebel Boat Rocker.

SpecOps Review
OGR has posted a review of SpecOps.

Out of the Blue
I've been playing around with BattleZone, and it's pretty damn cool (I know, where have you been, Blue?). I never expected the integration between the strategy elements and the action elements to be so seamless and natural, I guess I was expecting something that seemed more like two ill-fitting parts slammed together.

Monday, May 18, 1998

Editing - New QERadiant
Version 077 of the QERadiant Quake II level editor is out, as an executable only, so you need version 072. Version 1.0 will be released soon which will include source code. Thanks WolfeN Ravages of Radiant.

QuakeCon CPL Tournament Registration
The registration page for the QuakeCon CPL Tournament, scheduled for July 23rd 1998 in Dallas, is now online. Those considering participation are encouraged to sign-up early, as space is limited.

FrogBot
Version 0.9 of the FrogBot, the AI playmate for Quake is now up on Frogbot homepage & Timm's rants, offering a bunch of enhancements. There was promise of a QuakeWorld compatible version this time out, but that's still in the works at this point.

New ICQ
Redwood is on top of the new ICQ release, passing along word that version 1.26 is out. I can't find it on the Mirabilis website, but here it is on Download.com.

3Dfx OpenGL Beta 2
3Dfx has released beta 2 of their full OpenGL driver on this File Download page. Gamers with 3Dfx hardware need not replace their OpenGL minidriver as it will still deliver equal or better Quake/Quake II performance. Thanks Jason Keddie.

Quake II Mission Pack #2: Ground Zero
Activision has announced a second official Quake II mission pack, titled Ground Zero to be created by Rogue Entertainment. The add-on, slated for a summer release, will contain 15 new levels, new weaponry and power-ups. Thanks Lorien from PsychoNews. Here's an except from the press release:

QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero is published by id Software, distributed  by Activision, Inc. and designed by Rogue Entertainment. This same creative team created QUAKE Mission Pack No. 2: Dissolution of Eternity that earned critical acclaim in Computer Gaming World and PC Gamer. QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero, designed for Windows 95/98 and NT machines, offers gamers a chance to blast new QUAKE II monsters in 15 thrilling new levels with new weaponry, new units and new power-ups.

In this QUAKE II mission pack, the wicked Strogg have developed an all-new threat to mankind, the Gravity Well. Players will once again combat the Strogg hordes in their quest to free their comrades trapped in orbit. However, gamers will have substantial "backup" at their disposal with a slew of thunderous new weapons.

QUAKE II Mission Pack: Ground Zero’s vast new regions to explore include five new hubs with 15 additional levels. Ingenious new power-ups provide novel means to survive and throttle the new enemies that have emerged from the Stroggs' bio-vats.

Unreal Gold? (Updated)
OGR now has a report up from Mark Rein of Epic MegaGames denying that Unreal has gone gold, but that it may happen any day now, "as they currently testing release candidates." Thanks Shade). This in response top a report from EBWorld.com saying that Unreal has gone gold (as noted when that post was reported, EBWorld has been both right on, and a bit off with these type of reports in the past).

Half Life FAQ
A new version 0.23 of the Half-Life FAQ is up on its new home at Contaminated.net, where it moved along with its maintainer Jaspur.

Zoid on QuakeWorld 2.20 and 2.21
Zoid made a lengthy .plan update following up on the release of QuakeWorld 2.20, talking about some problems, in particular mentioning that checksum testing for maps altered for transparent water will be changed. He also describes what else is up with the next version, which he hopes to release soon. Here's most of the update, but there is also a section in there with common problems and solutions for 2.20 to check out if you're having problems:

I've been working all day on some of the problems in the 2.20 release.

As with any major release, there is bound to be problems. I made some incorrect assumptions this time around, namely how many people had watervised their maps. This has certainly been causing problems for a lot of people.

I'm working on 2.21. I hope to release it soon since there are some ugly bugs in 2.20 (such as random overflows on servers sometimes). There will be a server upgrade and a client one, but 2.20 clients and servers will be able to talk to 2.21, though I strongly recommend that everyone upgrade to 2.21 when it comes out.

For watervised maps, vis data is no longer included in the map checksum. The 2.21 server turns off checksums BY DEFAULT. Server admins can enable map checksumming by typing 'sv_mapcheck 1'. This map checksum is almost the same as before, except that vis data is not included in the check. This means that maps that just has the vis/portal information changed (for watervis) will pass the checksum test. Maps with hacked textures, removed walls, or waterhack will not.

Note, people believes this gives an advantage to GL users, and normally it would. But the server can control whether the GL user can turn on r_wateralpha (by setting it less than 1) or not using the watervis server variable. watervis 0 means that GL users can not enable transparent water, which levels the playing field. Quake was never really designed for transparent water and neither were the maps originally.

So for admins that are using servers for strict competition should enable sv_mapcheck and leave watervis to 0 so that no one gets transparent water.

There was a minor bug in the movement code as well. This bug was only really noticable on ctf4 up the steps to the rocket launcher. You sort of bounced up the steps. This has been fixed.

There also seems to be an issues where the servers are consuming much more CPU than before. I think this may be related to some checksumming code I put in to defeat proxies. I'm changing these routines to use a more CPU friendly algorithm that should help on the servers.

I'd like to apologize for some of the problems with this release. I can't please everyone, but I try to make the game as fun, secure and reliable as I can. QuakeWorld was meant to be a more net friendly version of Quake--that was it's goal. This is why I spent the time integrating movement code that matched the original Quake. I wanted to end the NQ/QW split that existed, since it doesn't serve anyones' best interest.

Quake is a great game, and one I love to play just like everyone else.

John Carmack on Quake 3 Characters
John Carmack updated his .plan about Quake's text character code, and how Quake 3 will handle keyboard input differently, including full support for international keyboards and character sets.

Brian Hook on Quake 3 Compression
Brian Hook's .plan has more on video compression issues in Quake 3, as well as mentions of Forsaken, 80's music, and whiskey (sounds like a party to me!).

Blood2 Preview
The Adrenaline Vault's Blood II feature is online, offering a preview, an  interview with lead designer Jay "Shade" Wilson, some screenshots, and a couple of character animations. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

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Interviews

Level Designer Roundtable
Zdim: Roving Reporter, up on the ION Storm site has Zdim talking about level design with Anachronox designer Tom Hall, Daikatana level designers Sverre Kvernmo and Steve Rescoe and artist Ludovic Texier, finally turning the mike around and interviewing himself (or his alter-ego, Anachronox level designer Rich Carlson).

Harry Teasley
Contaminated.net, a new Half-Life site, has an interview up with Valve's Harry Teasley.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

AirQuake II
Version 0.20a of AirQuake II, the Quake II arcade flight sim game is now available, in both Windows and Linux flavors, and adding a new map. There is a feature on AirQuake II up on Converted2.com that includes a preview and an interview.

Action Quake2
Version 0.91 of Action Quake2 is out. AQ2, based not so much on the premise that Quake II doesn't have enough action, but that it should be more like an action movie (describing Q2 as more like a sci-fi flick), adds features like damage based on where a player is wounded, and wounds that bleed. The new release also adds two new maps.

Quake2 Battleground
Quake2 Battleground is a Quake II server program that offers many configurable admin options (IP banning, etc.), and also looks to fill the role of the ClanRing mod in Quake with a remote administrative function that allows users to configure the options on a server to set up matches.

Front-ends
Eraser Bot Launcher is now up to version 1.40. The Bot Epidemic's poll on bot launchers is complete with EBW edging EFE 406 votes to 399.

RIVA TNT
RivaRave has a pair of article up on the upcoming RIVA TNT.

Competitions - Forsaken Ladder
The Forsaken Ladder on The Ladder Complex is up and running.

etc.

Out of the Blue
The new Internet Websites Top 100 sees Blue's News making it to the Top 10, up to #7 in a list dominated by gaming sites (8 of the top 10, and 16 of the top 20). Big congrats to my bros over at Voodoo Extreme who jumped over 96 notches (and me!), going from off the chart last week (they were "Miss Congeniality" as the "Smash Website") all the way to #4, and kudos to OGR who nailed down this week's top spot. Huge thanks to all that have voted for this site and all the support you show all the hard working gaming sites of the world. If you want to waste a little time helping support the improbable assault on the top you can use this link to vote for this site (though it will be tough to keep moving upward at this point... maybe I should start offering pornographic bribes like Billy?).

Sunday, May 17, 1998   New QuakeWorld Hurra, hurra, hurra to Norway on their National Day*  

More On New QuakeWorld and "Altered" Maps
After a few emails, I've clarified this story a bit: ^Drag0n^ from QuakeWorld Central points out that if your Quake pak0.pak, pak1.pak, etc., have been altered in any way, you will have to re-install the original versions in order to play on unmodified QuakeWorld 2.2 servers since they will check this as part of the efforts to prevent cheating. Alterations that can prevent connecting include paks with re-vised maps for transparent water (the new QW inhibits transparent water on the client end anyway). Likewise, if you are trying to connect to a server that has the transparent water maps, then you must have the same modified pak. Vispatch author Andy Bay and BFG Buddy Tony Fabris each point out the way to live with this situation is to create a transparent pak2.pak and rename it pak2.bak when connecting to non-transparent water maps.

New Classic Quake Movie
Too late for this year's Quake Oscars, but, I imagine a front-runner for future honors, Apartment Hunt (3.9 MB) is a new movie by the Ill Clan that had me rolling with laughter. This humorous short for classic Quake features two lumberjacks and their madcap misadventures apartment hunting. The humor, dialog, and (musak) music are reminiscent of the elevator scene in Operation Bayshield, and the final joke is way too obvious, but that adds to the fun. Highly recommended.

HexenWorld Update
Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with word that the final version of HexenWorld should be on the way after the new QuakeWorld release:

With the new QW released, Zoid will be sending me those changes to be incorporated into HW. We'll then put out a new version of HW to test compatibility and stability. After that, we'll release probably what will be the final version of HW. Zoid also said he'll compile a few unix ports of the server (only those flavors which run on Intel), and so unix versions will be released along with that.

New QuakeWorld
Zoid has released version 2.2 of QuakeWorld, as a windows client (1.9 MB), a Linux client (660 KB), a Windows server (232 KB), a Linux server (188 KB), as well as server ports for Linux Alpha (220 KB), Sun Solaris x86 (202 KB), BDSI (287 KB), and Sun Solaris Sparc (202 KB). As noted in his .plan, version 2.2 is not compatible with version 2.1 and earlier. As his .plan also notes, this update focuses on cheating and security issues, and brings the feel of QuakeWorld closer in line with the feel of network Quake. Here's the update:

I've released QuakeWorld 2.2. I've also added a couple new ports for this release: Sun Solaris x86 and Linux Alpha for servers. The new QuakeWorld should work through various broken routers that previous versions of QuakeWorld did not work with before.

QuakeWorld 2.2 is NOT COMPATIBLE with old versions (2.1 or earlier).

The changes focused on security, cheating and gameplay. QW2.2 plays as close as possible to the original Quake, but with the benefits of prediction. My beta testers were very excited about the changes, and I hope everyone will enjoy them.

Please note: Team Fortress 2.6 currently doesn't work with QW2.2. The Team Fortress team is aware of this and will be releasing a small patch for servers ASAP.

As always, QuakeWorld is an unsupported product. If you have any problems tho, you can report them to bugs@quakeworld.net.

The release packages:

QuakeWorld Client For Windows 95 and NT
QuakeWorld Server for Windows 95 and NT

QuakeWorld Client for Linux i386
QuakeWorld Server for Linux i386

QuakeWorld Server for Linux Alpha
QuakeWorld Server for Sun Solaris x86
QuakeWorld Server for BSDI3.0 i386
QuakeWorld Server for Sun Solaris (sparc)

Zoid's GamesCon Talk
The GamesCon page has NetShow video online (formatted for three different connection speeds) of parts of Zoid's talks at their recent gathering in Vancouver.

Amiga Quake
Word is that the AmigaQuake ordered through clickBOOM.com is now arriving in the hands of eager amigers. Thanks [OCR]OPA. On the subject of this old soldier that refuses to die (or even fade away), here's a story on Gateway's plans to revive the Amiga Thanks Eric Rose.

Alias FAQ
Have questions on how to put aliases to work for you in your Quake II configuration files? Check out The Bind where they have posted a new Alias FAQ to amuse and inform on the subject.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

PainKeep Levels
There are 20 new maps for the PainKeep mod up on PainKeep's New Levels page. If you're not familiar, here's the PainKeep homepage where you can learn more about, and download, this awesome classic Quake mod.

Classic CTF
Here's a twist: Classic CTF is a Quake II mod that attempts to recreate the feel of CTF for classic Quake and QuakeWorld.

SkyBlazer
Version 0.5 of SkyBlazer is out, a classic Quake mod that creates a sport where you must score by carrying a ball into a goal riding a hoverboard. Team organization is not required: You compete with and against bots, and your teammate bots will even follow your instructions (find live teammates you can say that about!). The files, and more details, are up on The Lair.

Quake Name Maker
The QNM page has version 1.00 of the Quake Name Maker. Don't even ask my why Tony over there is still bitching at me publicly for expressing my opinion about the fun of fun names, I have no idea: I wasn't trying to make an issue of it, and stopped right after he complained five months ago.

Front-ends
Version 1.51 of the Bot Johnny bot front-end is out.

Siege GameSpy Tab
There's a GameSpy Tab for Siege, the teamplay mod for HexenWorld, up on HexenWorld.

Levelord on his CGW Article
Levelord updated his .plan with a clarification of why a recent article by him on GameSpot UK seems a trifle incoherent (as he puts it "The grammer is broken, there's no structure or flow, it sounds like I'm ranting after a night's binge drinking...This was NEVER meant for public eyes and I apologize for sounding like a complete fool."). What was posted was a rough draft of a CGW magazine article he wrote for their June print issue, and the rough draft was by no means for publication. Thanks Martin for helping me straighten out this blurb.

Hook on Bugs
Brian Hook's .plan has a conversation about bugs, and a later update, he goes into some serious technical detail about compression and stuff.

Linux 3Dfx Howto
The Linux 3Dfx HOWTO gives details on 3Dfx graphics accelerator support for Linux, listing  some supported hardware, describing how to configure the drivers, and providing answers to frequently asked questions. Thanks glShemp.

Max Payne
Remedy Entertainment's Samuli Syvähuoko updated his .plan with word on their Max Payne plans for E3, and commentary that there has been no compromise in the development of MP of visual technology versus the game.

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Editing

Talkin' 'bout Maze Generation
Version 1.1 of Quake2MazeMaker, the maze generation program is now available fixing a few bugs and adding colored lighting support.

IRC Class
]Annihilator['s Game Editing Site has word on an IRC editing class to take place today in Undernet's #QuakeEDIT IRC at 4:00 PM Eastern time.

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Competitions

The TF DustBowl
The TeamFortress DustBowl Classes Tournament is a one-on-one competition, with Soldiers being the only class competing right now -- they are eager for more LPB's to sign-on.

Unreal Giveaway
Dunno how it will be verified, but word on Big Al's Kick Ass Quake II News is that the 35,000th visitor to the site will win a copy of Unreal upon its release.

Site Seeing

etc.

Out of the Blue
Had an amazing time LANing yesterday. I want to urge anyone who has never gotten together with some buddys and their computers and some pizza and some deathmatch to give it a whirl. Those who have already experienced the chaos of such a get together probably need no urging.

____________
* Thanks Ellusion for word on Norway's celebration today

Saturday, May 16, 1998

Sin Screenshots
Ritualistic has posted news that Activision has redesigned their Sin page making HardCorps SiN news a sub-site, and adding some new shots to the screenshots, as well as a Pure 3D II contest for US/Canadian residents.

Copy Protection in Unreal
I saw on Unreal.Org that Epic's Tim Sweeney made a post to the Unreal MegaMessage Board saying there would be no copy-protection in Unreal, and the CD will not be required in the drive to play.

Shogo Film
Amid all the news yesterday about Shogo (the game formerly known as RIOT: Mobile Armor) I missed mentioning the new videos (.avi format) of the game in action in a large (320x200) version (17.7 MB) and a "small" (160x120) version (9.6 MB) up on the Shogo Mobile Armor Division site where they plan on posting a new movie every two weeks.

Hexen II Walkthrough
A complete walkthrough for Hexen II is up on The Chaos Sphere, along with a find-it page to locate the hints you are looking for.

SpecOps SLI Patch
There's a SpecOps patch up on SpecOps.Org, among the features it adds are SLI support, Gamepad support and beta joystick support. There's a second patch with new textures specifically for Voodoo2 users. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Oh Yeah -- MechCommander Demo
In the future I will just point out that demos like are released, rather than tending to only post them when there's a local copy available. I say this because I haven't yet managed to post a local copy of the beast (over 100 MB) of the MechCommander demo, but in trying to get it online, I realize never mentioned its existence, so, better late than never (or something), I will point out the MechCommander demo is out, offering two missions unavailable in the game. The demo is also available in stores (the store version adds an opening cinematic), which is going to be the better choice for most: According to the SoftwareZone, download time for this file on a 28.8 modem during average conditions is 14 hours, 44 minutes and 26 seconds. That makes this a good time to mention GetRight, a shareware program that I've had recommended to me several times (I mention it now specifically thanks to a reminder from Xenocide) that manages downloads, including resuming where supported, scheduling, and many other powerful features helpful in these days of ever larger files.

New Permedia2 NT Drivers
New Windows NT 4.0 drivers for Permedia2 cards are up on 3Dlabs' Drivers and Demos page. Thanks Ulf Hallberg.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Disposable Heroes
A new preview version of the Quake portion of the Coven's Quake/Quake II deathmatch pack Disposable Heroes is now available. The new preview includes the latest version of MAD (replaces weapons with various types of rockets) for Q1, with an improved blast wave for the tactical nuclear warhead, and rocket effects adjusted to match the latest Q2 version of the patch (also available).

Front-ends
Version 2.02 of the Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is out. I got a kick out of this: a front-end front-end (no, I'm not stuttering), the Quake 2 Tray Launcher is meant to be used to launch Tectonic, which is a front-end for other Quake II modifications. The program also can work in conjunction with Quake Launcher.

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Interviews

Interstate '82
There's an interview with Zach Norman director, lead designer, and writer for Interstate '82 up on PC Fan.

The SPQ 11
There are 11 interviews with maintainers of a bunch of well-known sites that review single player levels up on the The Quake Workshop2.

Editing - SkinED
Version 032 beta of SkinED, the 256 color pixel editor for Quake II skin development, is now available. Thanks ReaperMan.

Site Seeing
Moved: Deathmatch Manager and Mushroom Blue Entertainment, both to TeleFragged.

Correction
I posted word of the new ATI OpenGL Quake Driver in the wee hours, but I mistook the old one for the new OpenGL ICD beta (which was due out yesterday according to ATI's Software Arena). Sorry for the confusion. Thanks Necromancer for the clarification.

etc.

Out of the Blue
Off to LAN for the day with the Brothers Gib and our arch rivals/great buddies in HSM, so no updates until tomorrow (unless something pops up before I leave).

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