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Friday, May 29, 1998

Quake II  3.15 Released  [10:12 PM EDT]
Blue with another remote update from the UberFest. Just wanted to make sure people were aware that Zoid has released Quake II Version 3.15. Millenium tells me this version fixes everything, including adding native VWep support. More info in Zoid's plan update.  Thanks to the kind person at the UberFest who pointed this out.

Thursday, May 28, 1998

E3 Day One  [8:34 PM EDT]
Mrs Blue here taking dictation over the phone from Hotlanta! (Billy brought the laptop but it's helpfully still in his room.)

Blue says:

Half-Life: Valve Acquires TeamFortress2
Just wanted to check in with a couple of things from the E3 floor on the first day of the show. First the news flash: It might not be a total shocker since there's been some speculation that this was in the works, but the TeamFortress software guys are down here with Valve showing off TeamFortress2 which has been acquired by Valve. TFS and Valve are not certain yet whether the sequel to TeamFortress will be included with Half-Life out of the box, or if it will be a second product that would come out a few weeks after as a Half-Life add-on. Additionally, the TFS guys have been working very hard with Valve using their experience as mod authors to ensure that Half-Life offers mod authors every opportunity to customize the game. This includes things like the Hud, being a completely client-side DLL, which can be completely customized. The demonstration of Half-Life and TF2 is truly impressive. I have to say if I was impressed with Half-Life before it's that much more impressive now.

Duke Nukem Forever
The other first-person shooter that I got to sample today was Duke Nukem Forever in a closed-door demo by George Broussard. 3D Realms seems to be really going the extra yard to create a game with a completely different style of play than the typical FPS we're familiar with (a bit to surprising to me, since Duke is a franchise that would sell well without breaking any ground, so I'm impressed that they're not resting on their name value here). Most notable is the extensive use of vehicles. As Duke, you'll find yourself shooting down planes from the back of a moving truck (Duke's ride to Vegas) and a bunch of similarly imaginative use of vehicles will create a whole secondary style of play within the game. I asked George if he thought that the vehicle style combat would find its way into any of the deathmatch maps and he said (I'm paraphrasing), "Yeah, I think we definitely have to do that, I mean people are really going to want to play DM on that jetski map (referring to another of the vehicle-oriented scenes we just saw, an awesome sight with jetskis being dropped from a helicopter into the water around you )."   Though development of the actual game has spanned only a short time since previous work was in modifying the Quake II engine to their needs, other things stand out already as well, like the amazingly detailed skins and the first attempt I've seen to accurately match the characters with movement to their dialog when they speak. It's pretty close, better than a lot of dubbed foreign films.

That's it for now.  Check in with you later.

Wednesday, May 27, 1998

Zoom!  [3:55 PM EDT]
Off in the BlueJet to Hotlanta!

Online Gaming Service News  [10:27 AM EDT]
In this press release, the World Opponent Network (WON) announces their first major agreement is a deal with GT Interactive and Epic MegaGames to bring Unreal to WON. Also in the online service front, TEN and Excite and InfoSeek have announced deals (see press release) whereby TEN branded gaming channels will appear among both services (TEN will also be offering card games through WebDeck. Got any Threes? Go Fish!). BTW, the completely Java-based TEN version 2.0 has launched. Finally, I saw on OGR that there is a free open beta test of the "massively multiplayer UltraCorps" on the Internet Gaming Zone, preceding the game's official launch this June 25.

Food of the g.o.d.s  [10:27 AM EDT]
Also from OGR, Gathering of Developers has announced they are picking up on TRI's history of charitable food initiatives. Here's the word on this worthy cause:

Gathering of Developers will be continuing a trend set by one of its founding members (Terminal Reality) and has announced that it will be donating one truckload of food to the Feed the Children organization for every title that is produced. G.O.D. has issued a "challenge" to the rest of the gaming industry to help raise funds for the organization. Any interested parties can stop by the G.O.D. booth while at the E3 show this week.

Meet the Unreal Makers on Mplayer  [9:26 AM EDT]
Mplayer's Unreal Kingdom has word on how you can play Tim Sweeney and some of the other creators of Unreal in a deathmatch on Mplayer on Saturday morning, as they set up a special deathmatch from E3. Details are posted in the Kingdom.

Unreal Skin Warning  [9:26 AM EDT]
Unreal.Org has a warning for skin designers on what not to do in creating custom skins from Tim Sweeney's Page (passed along to them by TheChosen's Unreal Skin Page):

Note: Do not modify Unreal's existing .utx and .int files, such as Female1Skins.utx and Female1Skins.int -- if you do that, you won't be able to enter multiplayer servers, because your .utx files will differ from the server's. The nice thing about Unreal "mods" is that they reside in separate files, so they can coexist and can be easily distributed -- rather than being modifications of our existing files.

Thresh.Com  [9:26 AM EDT]
According to this Next-Generation article, Diamond Multimedia has announced that Thresh is now endorsing their Diamond Monster 3D II as his video card of choice (Thresh already has a mouse endorsement deal with Microsoft). Word there is that Thresh will also be a contributor to Diamond Multimedia's online PC gaming resource, the Diamond Underground. Thanks QuakePsycho (yeah!).

ZDoom  [9:12 AM EDT]
Version 1.13 of ZDoom - Doom for Win32 is out, apparently offering several enhancements to the Doom engine, including NT support.

Unreal CTF  [9:12 AM EDT]
Saw on Captured.Com that they've captured a project called Noname CTF, a Capture the Flag mod for Unreal that began development before release of the game.

Editing - New Qoole, Qoole CD  [9:12 AM EDT]
Version 2.50 of QOOLE, the Quake Object Oriented Level Editor, is now available, offering several enhancements over version2.45. Also on the QOOLE site is information on the second edition of the QOOLE CD, which includes Qoole v2.50, supporting Quake, Quake II, and Hexen II.  Back orders for the version 2.50 CD-ROM are shipping soon, and new orders can be placed here in on a secure order form.

Quake II Launchpad  [9:12 AM EDT]
Version 0.12a of the Quake2-Launchpad, a Quake II front-end is out, killing a fatal bug in the last release.

Redwood's Half-Life  [8:32 AM EDT]
Redwood has posted his Half-Life Preview from his visit to Valve, way back, ummm, after mine, even though my preview is still MIA. I'll make an update on the status of the Blue preview shortly (upon return from E3, I  suppose). Red's lowdown is nicely done giving the deal with the game and dishing out the screenshots.

Programmers Leave Ritual & UberEngine Dead?  [2:27 AM EDT]
GameSlice has posted some big news: In a story yet to be confirmed by Ritual titled Ritual Employees Exit Amidst Rumors of Uberengine's Death, they report that two of the UberEngine programmers, Gary McTaggart and Charlie Brown, have left Ritual. Here's an excerpt:

This weekend, GameSlice was informed that the two lead developers behind Ritual Entertainment's new uberengine, Gary McTaggart and Charlie Brown, had left the company. Their work on the engine had ceased. GameSlice didn't report the story until now because we have a policy of not reporting rumors, and we wanted to confirm the story with additional sources. Today we spoke to two additional sources who confirmed that the two programmers had parted ways with Ritual. Somewhat ironically, Ritual's new website, launched today, has an employee roster section, yet both McTaggart and Brown's names aren't there, all but serving as official confirmation of their departure.

Is the Uberengine dead? Perhaps not.  Maybe Ritual will resurrect it with new programmers, but it's our understanding that the Heavy Metal game will not use it. The current buzz is that Ritual is looking into licensing technology for Heavy Metal, due to the fact it needs to be released next summer in conjunction with the movie. The obvious choice for this technology -- especially in
light of the comments on "indoor and outdoor environments" in the press release -- would be Epic's Unreal engine, although Ritual may indeed have something else planned. From what we understand, no decision has been made at this time, and Ritual doesn't plan to show the game until ECTS in London this September.

Eraser Wizard  [2:27 AM EDT]
Version 2.08 of the Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard is out.

Out of the Blue
Off to E3 this evening. I can make no hard promises about the status of updates here through Saturday night  (this is to put the pressure on Billy, who says he's bringing me a laptop--and maybe a portable computer, badoom-bah), and IGN says they have a war-room set up with a net connection in addition to the E3 press facilities, so there are options available, so updates from tonight through Sunday morning could run the range of an update or two a day, to some real on the spot updates if it's practical (here's hoping). By the way, if you are the kind and attractive person I am showing this to at the E3 on-site registration desk (there was a screw-up on my mailing credentials), thanks for your cooperation in getting me through quickly (hey, couldn't hurt), and yes that is my name in the copyright notice on the bottom of the page (I have to bring a by-lined copy of my "publication" to register). Finally, I've actually gotten a couple of what is E3 questions: E3 is the Electronics Entertainment Exposition, the biggest trade show in North America (the world?) for electronic gaming, replete with hype, lies, and the Next Big ThingTM (the trick is discerning the difference). For more info on the event, here's a link to the E3Expo website.

Tuesday, May 26, 1998

Unreal Release Party  [11:45 PM EDT]
The folks at GamesCon have announced the official Unreal release party:

GamesCon announces today that it will be holding the Official Unreal release party on June 6, 1998, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Attending will be employees from Digital Extremes, Epic Megagames, and GT Interactive. The cost is free for all to attend. There will be a LAN available for 100 participants to bring their own systems and compete head to head against each other for prizes such as Full Retail copies of Unreal signed by the developers at Digital Extremes. Registration will be through GamesCon's web site as well as the registration to bring your own system. The location has yet to be determined but will be in the Toronto area. Attendees wishing to bring their own systems must have a 10base-T Ethernet card installed to participate. Other attendees not wishing to bring their systems can come and join in the celebration marking the release of this outstanding game.

Mega-TeamFortress  [11:02 PM EDT]
A new QuakeWorld 2.21 compatible version 5.25.98 of MegaTF, the mod apparently used on a number of TeamFortress servers is now available.

New StarFighter Drivers  [11:02 PM EDT]
Billy at VE sends along word of new Win95/Win98 StarFighter Drivers and a new StarFighter Win NT OpenGL Driver that were posted Friday.

Blood 2 Art  [9:29 PM EDT]
There is a bunch of exclusive new art from Blood 2: The Chosen up on The Blood 2 Pit, showing off the good guys, the bad guys, and their guns.

More Unreal Performance Stuff  [9:29 PM EDT]
One of the tips in some of the Unreal performance tuning guides has been proven false. Brett "3 Fingers" Jacobs of 3 Fingers' & Heron's Stuff got a response from Tim Sweeney confirming his suspicion that setting the "memory cache" setting higher in Unreal is not the performance boost users think it is, because that setting is not the RAM the game uses. Here's Tim's response confirming that.

The cache holds temporary light maps, lighting tables, and mesh data. What you're saying is reasonable. A setting of 4 megs might improve performance a bit on machines with a lot of RAM, but going above that isn't worthwhile.

Unreal Starter's Guide  [8:05 PM EDT]
OGR has posted an epic (pun intended) Unreal Starter's Guide with tips to get you through the first few levels.

New Hexenworld & Siege  [7:59 PM EDT]
Phoebus has posted a pair of .zip files on HexenWorld with the files to upgrade to the new HexenWorld (1.1 MB) and the new Siege (2.5 MB) until new installer files are available. The updates bring both programs up to version 0.15.

Half-Life AVI  [7:59 PM EDT]
Contaminated.net has posted a new Half-Life AVI.

Bob Wright Interview  [7:59 PM EDT]
Ex-ION Storm COO Bob Wright is interviewed on OGR talking about his recent apparently acrimonious split with ION and his lawsuit against them. here is a quote from the very blunt conversation:

"The two biggest things I took exception with was in the way they managed people, you know, motivation by fear...and secondly, I think there was a real desire and focus and maximizing personal gain at the expense of a cool corporate culture."

More on FAKK2  [3:45 PM EDT]
First, here's the Heavy Metal F.A.K.K.² (1998) movie listing in The Internet Movie Database (thanks Hobbex, whose comment is "Looks like Ritual wants us to play as a chick again"). Second, onethumb updated his .plan to clarify that even though their report was contradicted by Ritual's Matthias Worch (see story), OGR wasn't hitting the crack pipe when they wrote their story:

Well, we finally were able to announce our new game today... There seems to be a bit of confusion about the game and what it's about and where it came from... So here's the scoop:

Heavy Metal, the original animated film, was a series of animated shorts.

Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 is the sequel to Heavy Metal, but is an entire film rather than a collection of shorts. It's based on Kevin Eastman's "Melting Pot."

Our new game, Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 is based on the movie, which is currently in developement.

So yes, the game itself is based on the sequel to the original Heavy Metal.

Websites: Max Payne & Ritual  [3:19 PM EDT]
The 3D Realms Max Payne Website is up at and running. Also, I mentioned the new look Ritual website already, but want to make sure it was noticed. As usual, awesome work by |2|, and obviously the Ritual killers think so too, as the loneliest number since the number |1| is their Dude of the Month with a web shrine and interview. Thanks Moebius.

Dominion Goes Gold  [2:47 PM EDT]
GameSpot is reporting that Dominion: Storm Over Gift3, ION's RTS offering has gone gold. According to the report:

ION says the game "has been sent to its publisher, Eidos Interactive for duplication and will ship to retailers worldwide in June."

Ritual's Game: Sequel to What?  [1:54 PM EDT]
Matthias Worch at Ritual sent along a clarification on their upcoming game FAKK2 (mentioned below), that contrary to the OGR report, the game is not a sequel to the the animated film Heavy Metal, or even the sequel to another game, but an original game based on an original movie  (as well as a passing along a mention of the Ritual website redesign, kudos, as always to |2|):

fakk 2 is not a sequel to a movie, it's original film (the main char is called fakk2). and our game will not be a sequel to an upcoming game, either - same reasons :)

FrogBot Editor  [1:54 PM EDT]
Version 1.3 of the FrogBot editor (described in yesterday's story), is up on Metropolis.

Ritual's Next Game  [1:28 PM EDT]
OGR has a report up describing Ritual's next project:

The Gathering of Developers announced today that they will publish and distribute Ritual Entertainment's upcoming PC game Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2 (Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone). The game will be based on the upcoming sequel to the animated film Heavy Metal; both should be released during the Summer of 1999.

The license was granted by Kevin Eastman of Heavy Metal Entertainment; Eastman, who co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, serves as the creative director on behalf of Heavy Metal Entertainment. The film will feature conceptual character art and style by British artist Simon Bisley and is produced by Cinegroupe Animation. Ritual will have access to all of the film's artwork and soundtrack.

Diamond's TNT Card, More on #9  [1:28 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme dug up the announcement of a new RIVA TNT offering upcoming from Diamond, and the official announcement of the #9 card first mentioned yesterday on The Tech Zone.

New TeamFortress Server  [12:55 PM EDT]
A server side-only TeamFortress 2.81 update is out on the TF Bug Fixing Project page fixing a few problems with the 2.81 release. Thanks SirLiam of Ethereal Team Fortress.

Paul Steed on Quake 3 Models  [12:55 PM EDT]
id Software's Paul Steed made a .plan update catching up on a lot of stuff with some nice words from Epic and Unreal, what he's been up to lately, a little on his most recent Game Developer article, the Spotlight awards at the CGDC, the skin contest, and, in the part I'll quote here, Quake 3 models:

Quake3.  I've been mainly working on R&D with Mr. Carmack on new animation technology that helps streamline the process and addresses some of the issues we've wanted to address even in Quake2.  The range and comprehensiveness of the character animation sets will be a nice surprise to many of you I'm sure.  Unfortunately don't count on having too many more faces to work with when you do your models and modifications.  I've only added maybe 50 faces max per character since the character data will be more intensive and the file size as well.  Not much else to say other than I'm cranking and learning and positive the results will be to your liking.

NIQ for Quake II Fix  [12:55 PM EDT]
NIQ Mods for Quake II has updated version 1.2 of their DM and CTF mods (see yesterday's story for details).

Unreal for Quake II Players  [10:51 AM EDT]
Quake II to Unreal, the Conversion. Pt. I is a guide on riot.com.au for hardcore Quake II players making the adjustment to Unreal, highlighting the differences in controls, etc., to help assimilate, err, acclimate you as quickly as possible.

Quake II Pro-Rocket Mod  [9:07 AM EDT]
This has been around for a while apparently, but I haven't seen it before, Pro-Rocket (as opposed to anti) is a modification that seeks to reduce weapon balance in Quake II by restoring the Rocket Launcher's Quake-esque prominence (the Pro-Rocket Manifesto explains the reasoning behind this). Two versions are available, the "out of the zip" Quake2 gamex86.dll with pro-rocket support, and Pro-CTF, a quick hack on Zoid's Capture the Flag mod. Source for both are included, as this is intended as a standardized mod that authors can combine into their own projects (Pro-Rocket Rocket Arena anyone?).

JailBreak Tutorial  [9:07 AM EDT]
With the new Quake II JailBreak release set for tonight, the timing is right for Deathmatch 101's new JailBreak tutorial.

Unreal Tweaking Guide  [7:57 AM EDT]
Inoxx, one of the level designers for Unreal has posted an Unreal Tweaking Guide on his revived homepage to help ensure you are eeking the most out of your machine when you play the game. Thanks Unreal Nation.

Unreal Console Commands/Mplayer  [7:57 AM EDT]
There's a better list of Console Commands for Unreal than the one I posted yesterday up on Unreal Kingdom, Mplayer's site, where there's also word on how you can get Unreal up and running on the Mplayer service.

Interstate '82 Preview  [7:57 AM EDT]
PCFan  has a preview of Interstate '82 the sequel to I'76, the game that put the funk in road rage. Thanks Billy "Taurus" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

Avault's ***** Unreal Review  [7:57 AM EDT]
Taurus at VE also passed word of Avault's big old Unreal review. They like it five stars worth.

UnrealScript Language  [2:03 AM EDT]
Tim Sweeney has posted an UnrealScript reference on his ever-growing Unreal Technical Information page. Since Epic's T1 being is pretty hammered pretty hard right now, Tim suggest storing a local copy, so here's one right on this very server. Here's what he had to say in his note:

I think programmers will find the language quite interesting.  It's similar to Java in syntax and in its "everything is an object" approach to programming. UnrealScript also adds some new language elements that are useful for game programming: states, state scoping, latent functions, virtual threading, and built-in networking support.

Unreal mods are created by writing new scripts that subclass existing code. This approach is similar to Java, though unlike Quake where mods are made by modifying the original source code.  The advantage to Unreal's system is that mods can coexist and interoperate.  For example, there is a base "Weapon" class that describes the functionality all weapons should have: firing, using ammo, auto-aiming, doing damage. If a user creates a new kind of weapon using our base functionality, it will automatically work in all levels, it can automatically be picked up and used by bots, and so on. There is really a lot of modularity here, with all game code being easily extendable: weapons, inventory, creature AI, bot AI, complete player controls, projectiles, game rules, and even the HUD rendering.

Now, there will be a learning curve with UnrealScript.  It requires thinking in object-oriented terms instead of procedurally.  It encompasses a lot of code.  It uses a new distribution model supporting both server-side and client-side code.  But, it's a very fun and hands-on language to work with, and it will be thrilling to see what the community is able to do with it.

Still More Unreal Editing  [2:03 AM EDT]
Following up on all the Unreal editing resources yesterday is unrealed.com, a site completely dedicated to the topic, run by Unreal Nation with a bunch of tutorials already online. Also a bit on Unreal skin editing is up on RIVA 3D.

Unreal Server List  [2:03 AM EDT]
[deicide] of the QuakeDomain has fired up an automated Unreal Server list, updated every 10 minutes. You can add a server using this form.

Quake II Civilian  [2:03 AM EDT]
Team Hostile has a plug-in player model of a civilian from their upcoming project available now as one of the less combat-oriented models you'll find (though that doesn't stop him from carrying a gun).

JailBreak Release Party Reminder  [2:03 AM EDT]
A reminder that the IRC release party for Quake II Jailbreak 2.0 is tonight at 7:00 PM Central time (8:00 Eastern), in 3DNet #jailbreak.

German Quake II Server List  [2:03 AM EDT]
QuakE II ServerlisT... sehr gut!

Unreal Mouse Doohickey Support  [2:03 AM EDT]
BuzzKill's has,as usual got the latest on how to get mice with those wheel doohickeys working with the latest games, having just posted files to enable Unreal doohickey support.

MailBag  [2:03 AM EDT]  [2:03 AM EDT]
Follow-ups on yesterdays topics. A different take on QuakeWorld, a reviewer says reviews aren't bought, and trying to get that Blue dude's ego under control, all in a new edition of the MailBag.

Out of the Blue
As I look out at the airfield from high atop the Blue Tower I can see the crew preparing the BlueJet for tomorrow's sojourn to Hotlanta Georgia for E3. By the way, taking my cue from Taurus, err, Billy at VE, and as noted in today's MailBag, I will no longer be using "Out of the Blue" as a forum to provide the link to vote for this site on the Internet websites Top 100, so don't come looking here for it, because it will probably not be here. But since I'm going to stop, let me provide one last link to vote for this site on the Internet websites Top 100 if you feel like it (I suppose you think  I'm really gonna stop, huh?).

Monday, May 25, 1998  Memorial Day (US)

Beating Unreal 'net Lag?  [8:40 PM EDT]
General Lee D. Mented sent along instructions on how to fine tune the settings for Unreal servers and clients to reduce laggy Internet play, which has been a problem for many so far. Here's the scoop (untested here, comments are welcome:

Server settings:

Set default bytes as high as it can go. This is a server. Duh.

Set max client bytes to about 5000-10000. 5000 if you have mostly modem players, 10000 if you have lots of isdn and cable players. The byte value is not as critical as ticks.

Max Ticks Per Second: THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. The default value is 35. This is WAY too HIGH. Set this down to a range of 10-20 on the server. 15 is ideal. This means a tick every 66ms. All but T1+ players will never notice it, and even then it will be minimal. This reduces the network over head  drastically, and cuts packet loss from approx 80% to near ZERO.

Client settings:

Default bytes per sec: Set this equal to your modem speed /10. i.e. 28.8k = 2800, 33.6k = 3300, 56k = 5500, ISDN 128k = 12000. Most good servers will limit you anyway.

Max Ticks Per Second: again, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Set this to 1. YES ONE. I've tested settings from 1-100 and this DOES have an influence on the client side. 1 is the optimum value. 0 seems to default back to 35. This can even improve your performance on high tick servers but it works best when coupled with a server ticking at about 10-20.

Zoid on QuakeWorld 2.2  [8:03 PM EDT]
Zoid made a .plan update addressing reactions to the recent release of QuakeWorld 2.20 and 2.21, (one opinion on this topic appears in today's MailBag). It's quite a lengthy post, going into the transparent water maps and more, but here's an excerpt (lengthy enough) that covers a lot of bases:

Note that server operators can control the friction! They can set 'sv_friction 6' in their server config files and keep the tight feel that previous versions of QuakeWorld had. It was only the default that changed.

Personally, I like the change. I can play Regular Quake and QuakeWorld and my movement feels the same, and on a LAN, I can't tell the difference ('cept Regular Quake's crosshair is off. :) That's the goal for me, to make the games play the same. It was a goal I started when I took over the QuakeWorld project.

Some users were experiementing a slightly higher ping and packet loss problems with this new version. I tracked it down to the new checksumming code I was using. It was very CPU expensive and slowed both the server and client down a bit (much more so on the server, tho). 2.21 uses a much more efficient checksum code that should alleviate this problem. A lot of QuakeWorld servers are running on lower end hardware out there (P120, P133s, etc) so when they got a lot of players on there, combined with the new expensive checksumming, the server consumed a lot of CPU and started running out and dropping packets. Never saw it on my Dual PII-266 that I run the test servers on. But it's fixed now.

Another problem a lot of people are getting is an error from QWCL saying, "The localid has not been set." when using GameSpy/QuakeSpy. This is because I had to change the way GameSpy and QWCL communicate due to a security problem (It was an ugly problem, people could execute command on your qwcl console remotely. I'd like to pubically spank Microsoft for allowing packets spoofed with the local interface address as coming in over the ethernet interface). You get this error with earlier versions of GameSpy, because it's not communicating the new info to qwcl. GameSpy1.53 (included with QW) and 2.0beta2 or later have this new functionality. If you are still getting it with those versions, check to see if you are running qwcl/glqwcl from a batch file. If so, make sure it passes parameters, like so: glqwcl %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9 in the batch file.

The reactions to the 2.2 version have been mixed. Everyone, especially server operators, should upgrade to 2.21 as it addresses a lot of the problems that showed up in 2.2. I hope I cleared up some of the choices I made in 2.2. I'm enjoying the new version, and I hope many other are, too.

Now, time for me to hack some more on Quake2. Stuff is forthcoming. :)

Return of Q2 on Inferno  [8:03 PM EDT]
Disruptor updated his .plan announcing the return of Quake II on Inferno (192.246.40.250), id's popular deathmatch server, currently cycling through the q2dm* maps, and as Disruptor puts it: "...true to Inferno's old spirit, it'll be the testbed for any wacky gameplay ideas we want to experiment with."

George B on Unreal  [8:03 PM EDT]
3D Realms' George Broussard updated his .plan with a very positive reaction to Unreal.

CPL Tourney  [5:40 PM EDT]
The Cyberathlete Organization announced today that their sponsor, Babbage’s Etc,  is offering a the chance to be a celebrity endorser  (or something like that) as first prize for the the upcoming QuakeCon CPL Tournament, scheduled to take place July 23-26 at the InfoMart in Dallas. Here's the deal:

The winner of the CPL's official one-on-one Quake® competition will receive a sponsorship deal from Babbage's Etc. that will include: in-store and retail catalog special features, participation in a CPL promotional in-store video, a one year 30% discount for software purchased in any Babbage's, Software, Etc. or Barnes & Noble stores and $2000 cash.

Shogo Design Contest Update  [5:40 PM EDT]
There's been a change to the Shogo Mobile Armor Division Level Design Contest, looking for the best user-created Shogo level for inclusion in the game. There are files on the site to make the contest easier on all the entrants by giving them a to-scale Shogo mecha model, and several other options including unpacking instructions to get started quickly.

FF VIII Screenshots  [5:40 PM EDT]
There are IV new screenshots from Final Fantasy VIII, currently in development for PSX by SquareSoft up on Game Post.

More Unreal Editing  [5:40 PM EDT - Update]
Dr. SiN's UnrealED tutorials and Unreal Level Design are two editing resources set up by a couple of  knowledgeable Unreal-editing types from EFnet #UnrealEd. Thanks ^ruiner. Another editing site focusing on Unreal is The Knoll - The Sniper Page.

Overclocking for Frames  [3:02 PM EDT]
Overclocking for Frames is an article that discusses overclocking in terms of bus speed, clock speed, etc., and each aspects impact on framerate. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Second Cyrix Unreal Patch  [3:02 PM EDT - Updated]
Finally(!) got a working local copy of this file up, so here goes on this story again (third time's the charm). Saw on UnrealNation that Tim Sweeney's Known Bugs and Experimental Patches Page has Version 2.02 of the Unreal patch for Cyrix processors (1.1 MB). That page has been significantly updated at this point, if you are having problems you should check it out.

New Number 9 Chipset  [3:02 PM EDT]
The Tech Zone has first word on the Ticket to Ride 4, or T2R4, a next-generation 3D chipset in the works from Number 9 Technologies. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

bluebar.jpg (1109 bytes)
Quake/Quake II Mods

New QW FvF  [3:02 PM EDT]
FvF QuakeWorld 4.03 has been released on FvF QW Headquarters featuring a new fighter model, adding a teamswitching lock, and "other stuff."

NIQ & NIQCTF  [1:29 PM EDT]
Version 1.1 of both NIQ & NIQCTF are up on NIQ Mods for Quake II. The NIQ enhancements are many, most notably, that the server selects a different random weapon at set intervals, and until the next weapon is selected, that is the only weapon available to players in the game.

FrogBot Editor  [1:29 PM EDT]
Timm from Metropolis (Frogbot homepage) has posted a FrogBot editor, created by Tony of QNM, which is a small program for editing\creating frogbot .bot files for this classic Quake bot. These .bot files include specific bots skill, skin, name (including high-ASCII), team color, DM color, and lots more.

Stroggs Gone Mad Routes  [1:29 PM EDT]
legion's Stroggs Gone Mad page has eight new routes for the improved monster AI in this single player Quake II mod in one handy .zip file. If you want to learn more about SGM, there are reviews up on AusQuake II and Distorted Reality.

Splat Pack 2  [1:29 PM EDT]
The Clan Splat Paintball Homepage has their second PaintBall map pack available, offering seven new maps for PaintBall for Quake.

Jailbreak 2.0 Release Plans  [1:29 PM EDT]
There is an IRC party planned for tomorrow night for the release of Jailbreak 2.0, the updated version of the Quake II teamplay mod at 7:00 PM Central time (8:00 Eastern), in 3DNet #jailbreak. The bad news is that Eraser support, planned for 2.0 is not going to happen ("Eraser Bots will be added in a future server-side only release"). Thanks anarchy.

Atlas Shrugs  [1:29 PM EDT]
RealLifeTM has struck again, and word out of the home of the Atlas Phase1 & 2 project is that this project that creates a database of all your Quake maps will no longer be updated by the author, but he is willing to release the source code to parties interesting in continuing his work.

MailBag - New QuakeWorld & Unreal  [1:29 PM EDT]
In the MailBag today, a reader unhappy with the new QuakeWorld (did Zoid kill Quake?), and two opposite reactions to the Unreal release, one loving the game, and the other distrusting every site giving a positive review. Remember opinions expressed in the MailBag don't necessarily represent those of yada yada yada...

Volumizer - Win95 Sound Control  [1:29 PM EDT]
Volumizer is a new program that promises lets you save "sound schemes," similar to Windows saved color schemes, allowing you set volume levels for 6 standard volume controls, just like the standard Windows95 mixer, and save the settings as a "sound scheme," and recall that sound scheme at any time in the future. Sounds (heh) perfect for gamers where, for instance, you may want to crank the CD and digital audio for some games, and kill the midi and lower the digital audio in another.

Quake Spider  [1:29 PM EDT]
An update to the web spider on Quake3.nu brings the number of Quake-related webpages and .plan files you can search for information using boolean search strings to over 100 billion!

Quake Editing - Tutorials & New Quest  [12:35 PM EDT]
Version 2.26 of Quest, the recently revived Quake/Quake II editor that supports both DOS and Win95, is up on The Official new DOSWin95 Quest homepage. Thanks Stinkbutt. also a new archive of all the Quake II editing tutorials on RUST is now available there.

Unreal Editing - New Sample Map, Tutorials  [12:35 PM EDT]
Saw over on Unreal.Org that Inoxx, one of Unreal's level designers, has made an example map (8 KB) aspiring Unreal level designers can use for examples using a sky, mover, and a portal in a map for UnrealEd. Also the Unreal Tutorials over on RUST have been moved to their own section.

Zoid Interview  [11:46 AM EDT]
Captured.Com, the definitive Capture the Flag authority, has posted an interview with Zoid, the definitive Threewave Capture the Flag authority (being the author, and all). As well done as any interview you'll read, Dakota grills the Zoidster on a wide variety of Zoidly topics.

Dave Taylor Interview  [11:46 AM EDT]
Mecca-Lecca-Hi, Mecca Hiney-Ho! The Daily Dementia at the MeccaWorld has part two of their conversation with Dave Taylor of Crack dot Com regarding E3, Atlanta, and his days at id Software. RealPlayer required (also, BYOB).

Unreal Console Commands  [6:48 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme sent along a pretty complete-looking listing of  console commands from Epic's site that he passed along. It was kind of clunky, so I HTML'ed 'em up for easier reading: Here's a list of Unreal Console Commands.

Scott Miller Interview  [6:48 AM EDT]
3D Realms' Scott Miller is interviewed over on Methos Quake.

5 Nations Quake Tournament  [6:48 AM EDT]
5 Nations Quake is described as "the largest ever international QuakeWorld tournament" pitting opponents from England, France, Wales, Scotland, and "All Ireland" in battle beginning next month.

AMD K6-2 FAQ  [6:48 AM EDT]
Have any questions you find yourself asking frequently about the K6, AMD's upcoming MMX compatible processor? There's an AMD K6-2 FAQ up on the Upgrade Center. Thanks Billy "Not Short for William" Wilson at Voodoo Extreme.

Out of the Blue
Wow, I think it was great timing to go back to a more news-ticker approach here right before the Unreal release. It was not really planned, but it enabled me to pick it all up without missing a beat (by contrast, adding Quake II news to the mix at the time of its release noticeably impacted the flow of work here: that was when the AM updates slipped from 8:00-9:00 AM Eastern time to 10:00-11:00 every day). I think if I tried to find a way to support the deluge of new Unreal info in the old format it might have created some real slow-downs and headaches. The downside to the news-ticker approach, is that some of the organizational sense gained by categorizing stories together is lost (of course, the categories are imperfect anyway: do a Prey interview and a Quake interview get categorized together as interviews, or separately with their respective games?). Timestamping the stories helps alleviate some of the chaotic feel of the uncategorized posts, and so far the reaction has been tremendous with just one comment that the old way was better (I'm interested in other's opinions who may feel similarly), thanks to all who've written in complementing the new (old) approach. I have to say, it has made me happier, since it definitely makes me feel the site is leaner and meaner covering the news again.

Sunday, May 24, 1998

3D GameGauge  [11:55 PM EDT]
Industrious Billy Wilson over at Voodoo Extreme dug up a link to that 3D GameGauge benchmark recently announced by Computer Gaming World (but never to my knowledge found available anywhere). Here's the page where you can find 3D GameGauge and the Quake II, GLQuake, F22 ADF, Forsaken, Incoming, and Turok demos on which the benchmark feeds.

Cyrix Unreal Patch Status  [11:50 PM EDT]
I've received word from a bunch of folks still having the same problem with Unreal on their Cyrix processors after applying the beta patch (report here). Terror_5 passed along an email response from Epic's Tim Sweeney on the status of an updated patch:

I'm going to release a new patch very soon (within 36 hours unless something serious goes wrong...sorry for the delay, it requires rewriting a lot of code).

MacUnreal Status  [10:11 PM EDT]
PsychoNews contacted WestLake Interactive to ask the status of the release date and feature set of MacUnreal, and received the following reply:

We're hoping for mid-to-late July. We are still working to include all the game features available on PC.

RBR/Prax War FAQ  [10:11 PM EDT]
Just the FAQs Ma'am, as they just roll on in today, here's version 0.10 of the Rebel Boat Rocker/Prax War FAQ up on BoatRocker.com, the one and only (for the moment at least) Frequently Asked Questions file on RBR and their upcoming project.

Another Quake 3 FAQ!  [7:29 PM EDT]
It is with astonishment, in light of my comments earlier today, that I so quickly bring you word of the third(!) Unofficial Quake III FAQ, on Quake 3@voodoo2world.com.

Unreal Linux Petition  [6:35 PM EDT]
Here's an Unreal for Linux petition to try to demonstrate to Epic that a Linux port is a worthwhile project.

Unreal Qtracker Support  [6:35 PM EDT]
Qtracker programmer Ron Mercer updated his .plan with word on his plans to support Unreal in Qtracker, his server browser program that currently supports Quake, QuakeWorld, Quake II, Hexen II, and Jedi Knight, and Mysteries of the Sith. There is also some info there that he's doped out about communicating with Unreal servers, with the promise to post more as he figures out what's up, eventually to put this stuff all in a webpage. Word on the Qtracker site is that version 2.1 with Unreal support is due in a day or two.

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Quake/Quake II Mods (Updated)

Quake II RAMBOT  [2:11 PM EDT]
RAMBOT's Pit has the first release of the RAMBOT (yes the caps are intentional) for Quake II, a bot that started out as a project for a school course in Artificial Intelligence.

Viking Control Panel  [2:11 PM EDT]
A new version of the Viking Control Panel (though, confusingly, still version 0.98.02), the front-end for the Viking Mod for Quake II is up on the newly relocated Viking Control Panel page, where there's word that Viking Mod version 0.99a will not be out this weekend as originally promised, and also word of opportunities to join the Viking Development Team.

GenClasses GL Fix  [2:11 PM EDT]
A fix on the GenClasses page allows this classic Quake mod to work under GLQuake.

Quake II - New Eraser Front-end  [2:23 AM EDT]
Version 3.1 of the Eraser Front-end (EFE) is now available offering drag and drop support and a new command line option.

Dose o' Reviews  [2:11 PM EDT]

QuakeWorld 2.10 League  [2:11 PM EDT]
The UK Free For All is a QuakeWorld tourney that is going to stick with version 2.10, and is now accepting sign-ups.

Quake 3 FAQ  [11:19 AM EDT]
An updated version 0.13 of the Unofficial Quake 3 FAQ is up on TeleFragged (this is the second Q3 FAQ, and is what actually inspired my comments earlier about multiple FAQs on the same topic).

Unreal Editing Tips  [11:19 AM EDT]
Saw on PsychoNews that RUST has already added information on Unreal editing to their extensive editing tutorials.

Unreal Cyrix Fix  [10:23 AM EDT]
That was quick (see story): Epic's sleepless Tim Sweeney has posted a beta experimental patch for Cyrix users (144 KB) having problems running Unreal, also available here on cdrom.com, and wherever fresh Unreal news is served like UnrealNation, the source of this story. There is also a beta patch (92 KB) to fix A3D audio support (read me).

Max Payne at E3  [10:23 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme found word on Remedy Entertainments's news page that they intend to show off their 3D offering-in-progress, Max Payne, at E3.

Unreal Cyrix Fix Soon?  [4:14 AM EDT]
Saw on Unreal.Org that Epic's Tim Sweeney posted a message to the MegaMessage Board saying hope was on the way as early as today for the Cyrix users who can't run Unreal:

Unreal does not run on some Cyrix processors. I now know what the problem is (I'm using a Pentium timing feature that I just found out does not exist in the Cyrix). I'll try to have a fix by Sunday...it will take a bit of time because it involves rewriting a bunch of Unreal's timing code.

On the subject of Unreal fixes, UnrealNation has posted an alternative Voodoo Rush fix that apparently works with the Glide 2.45 drivers.

New QBS  [2:23 AM EDT]
Version 1.35 of QBS, the system tray utility that helps keep you on top of the nutty gaming news scene is now available. As I've pointed out before: if you had QBS, you'd know that already.

More Unreal FAQs  [2:23 AM EDT]
Unreal Kingdom has posted their own Unofficial Unreal FAQ version 0.1. Don't know what it means, but this seems to be part of an increasing trend of more than one FAQ on a single topic:  At one time, once there was a FAQ, it was the only one, but nowadays it's a FAQing jungle out there. Also, GT Interactive's Unreal Win95 FAQ is up with answers to many hardware related questions. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers.

More StarSiege Screenshots  [2:23 AM EDT]
There are some screenshots of StarSiege up on Voodoo Extreme and more on Voodoo Unlimited Power. Like most of the previous shots, these are just stunning.

Unreal Map List  [4:14 AM EDT Update]
Dale Rector sent a long a simple list of the map names in Unreal. Just hit <Tab>, type open"mapname", and hit <Enter> to jump to a map. Since I got this Unreal Nation has posted a list of who designed each map.

Editorial - Cheating  [2:23 AM EDT]
Playing With a Stacked Deck is an editorial on PQ taking a look at cheating in multiplayer Quake/Quake II.

Out of the Blue
Well knock me over, the new Internet Websites Top 100 is out and in a list even further dominated by gaming (the top 10 is all game sites), would you believe Blue's News is up to #3? Woah! Let me say the loyalty and kindness so many of you show this site when opportunities to support it through polls like this (or in other ways for that matter) is quite heartwarming. Now let my throw out a HUGE congrats to Billy and Sharkey and the rest of the posse over at Voodoo Extreme, because they've nailed down the new top spot as the number one website in the whole entire world! Yee-hah! The first round of Drinks at E3 is on me Billy, then the rest are on you.   =]. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to plug the Vote for this Site link, to see if we can knock off VE next week, or maybe the AVault, which stands at #2 (BTW, a final note: my old nemesis Hansonline dropped off the charts this week).

Saturday, May 23, 1998

Site Stuff - Unreal Files Area, LAN Parties, etc.  [11:30 PM EDT]
First off, [deicide] has gotten the Unreal section of the Files area going as an easy one-stop area to find all the Unreal offerings on cdrom.com and its mirrors. As for some other departments here, I got such a good scolding over some of the parts of the site other than the news in an email today, I thought I'd post it as the first addition to the MailBag in a long time, which addresses one dusty section right there. The LAN Parties section has been brought up to date, and now has a last updated stamp for freshness dating. Unfortunately, while I've got a plan to make the Help Wanteds rock, for now, they are messed up, and are off-line for repair. They will be back "when they're done." I am terribly sorry to do this, since I've gotten several emails from people who now work in gaming thanks to that list. Hopefully it will be a short wait (I pasted that from my response to the mail if it looks familiar).

New RivaTweak  [11:30 PM EDT]
RivaRave has got the new version 2.52 of NVTweak, the essential utility for RIVA 128 owners. They've also posted an interview with Daniel Di Bacco, the NVTweak author.

Bob Wright Sues ION Storm  [9:11 PM EDT]
GameSpot updated the story they posted earlier (reported here) about ION Storm COO Bob Wright's dismissal with a response from Mr. Wright that reveals his dissatisfaction, and the fact filed a lawsuit on May 22 in Dallas County court against ION Storm and its partners alleging breach of fiduciary duties. Here's what was added:

GameSpot News spoke with Wright after his departure from ION Storm. He said that, "There was a fundamental difference in where we wanted this to go. I had a certain vision that was not shared by the partners."

Wright has filed a lawsuit against ION Storm and its partners alleging breach of fiduciary duties. The lawsuit was filed in Dallas County court on May 22.

Wright commented on ongoing discussions regarding Eidos Interactive's "increased involvement" with ION Storm. "I increasingly found myself as one voice against several," Wright told GameSpot News. Eidos is a publisher of ION Storm games.

"They took a direction that necessitated my departure," Wright concluded.

DEMentED 2  [9:11 PM EDT]
A new version 0.950 of DEMentED 2, the Quake II demo editor is out, offering dozens of new features for the aspiring Cecil B. DeQuakes,  mainly actor importing.

TeamFortress 2.8  [6:25 PM EDT]
Version 2.8 of Team Fortress is out as a full installer (5.3 MB) will both Quake and QuakeWorld versions ("Grab this if you don't have TF 2.6 or greater, or you're not sure what version of TF you've got"), a full .zip (4.1 MB), the same as the installer, but in a .zip, and an upgrade .zip (1.5), with both Quake and QuakeWorld versions, if you already have TF 2.6 or later installed. Thanks SirLiam (of Ethereal Team Fortress).

Unofficial Unreal FAQ  [6:25 PM EDT]
Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers points out there's an Unofficial Unreal FAQ on the newly opened PlanetUnreal. The FAQ is up to version 0.99.0, updated today.

ION COO Fired  [6:14 PM EDT]
GameSpot News is reporting that ION Storm has fired Chief Operating Officer Bob Wright, one of the founding members of the company. Their report quotes unnamed sources saying that "problems at ION which led to the eventual firing of Wright could have serious impact on the development and release schedule of future ION Storm titles." Here's the whole report:

Informed sources have told GameSpot News that ION Storm's COO - and one ION's founders - Bob Wright was forced out of the company last week. Sources say Friday was Wright's last day at ION Storm.

Other sources say the departure was the result of an unmanageable clash between Wright and ION's President Todd Porter.

Still another source said that problems at ION which led to the eventual firing of Wright could have serious impact on the development and release schedule of future ION Storm titles.

Calls to ION Storm had not been returned at press time.

SpaceOrb Unreal Support  [6:14 PM EDT]
SpaceOrb 360 Announcements holds news of a beta Unreal patch for SpaceOrb 360 users.

QuakeWorld 2.21  [4:06 PM EDT]
QuakeWorld 2.21 is out on id's FTP Site (thanks Redwood), as usual in a variety of flavors. Here are local copies (rah GamesNET FTP!). Full Client including GameSpy 1.53 for Windows95/NT (1.9 MB), Upgrade from 2.20 only (must have GameSpy 1.53 or 2.0beta2 installed) for Windows95/NT (589 KB), Server for Windows95/NT (223 KB), Client for i386 Linux 2.0 (662 KB), Server for i386 Linux 2.0 (190 KB), Server for Alpha Linux 2.0 (221 KB), Server for Solaris x86 2.5.1 (203 KB) Server for BSDI/i386 3.0 (289 KB), and Server for Solaris 2.5.1 on Sparc (201 KB). Here's Zoid's .plan update:

QuakeWorld 2.21 has been released that should address some of the problems in the previous release. Players and server operators are STRONGLY urged to upgrade to this version since many of the new features in 2.2 have been updated and bugs have been fixed.

The 2.21 versions will interroprate with 2.20 versions, but with some loss in performance. So, yes you can play on a 2.20 server with 2.21, or play with 2.20 on a 2.21 server, but you'll get the best gameplay and performance using a 2.21 client on a 2.21 server.

Here's the files:

Full QuakeWorld Client including GameSpy 1.53 for Windows95/NT

Upgrade from 2.20 only (must have GameSpy 1.53 or 2.0beta2 installed) for Windows95/NT

QuakeWorld Server for Windows95/NT

QuakeWorld Client for i386 Linux 2.0
QuakeWorld Server for i386 Linux 2.0

QuakeWorld Server for Alpha Linux 2.0
QuakeWorld Server for Solaris x86 2.5.1
QuakeWorld Server for BSDI/i386 3.0
QuakeWorld Server for Solaris 2.5.1 on Sparc

Unreal RUSH Fix?  [4:06 PM EDT Update]
SuPaHCHiCKeN sent along what he says is a fix for Voodoo RUSH support in Unreal (see below). The word on this (thanks Tony Garcia) is that it it still doesn't work fullscreen so you want to set your desktop to 640x480 before you play:

Somehow (i have no clue how), Glide 2.45 got on my system. However, Glide 2.43 is the latest version on 3dfx's website (and is the version unreal ships with).  Note, installing 2.43 off the unreal cd will not overwrite 2.45!  I had to find all instances of glide2x.dll and delete them, find all instances of fxmemmap.vxd, and delete them.. THEN run the install (glide\grtvgr.exe) and walla!  It works!

Unreal Voodoo Rush Update  [11:56 AM EDT Update]
A later post by Mark Rein to this thread Unreal MegaBoard gives an update on the status of the fix for Voodoo Rush support in Unreal:

3DFX already has the necessary source code and they already have someone working on a solution - even while E3 is on. If things go well it could get resolved this week.

We genuinely sorry about this problem and we're doing everything we can, as quickly as we can, to solve it. We have made the decision that E3 will not get in the way of resolving this particular problem so we will do what it takes to get it fix even if it means Tim Sweeney brings his computer to E3 and programs in his hotel room!

I want to assure you that this has nothing to do with "greed". We spent a considerable amount of time trying to get Rush working during development. We were just as frustrated trying to get it working in development as many of your are now that it's released. In our test configuration it seemed to work but we knew some outside testers were having problems and we couldn't recreate them. I also think we also, stupidly I'll admit, weren't aware just how many Rush users were out there! Now we know and we're working our butts off to find a solution.

New Vérité MiniGL  [11:02 AM EDT]
Rendition's Software Download page has the "Gold" mini-OpenGL Drivers (115 KB) for Vérité 1000 and 2x00-based video cards. Thanks paranrml. Here's the skinny:

This ZIP file contains unsupported "Mini" OpenGL drivers for boards based upon the V1000 and V2x00 chips from Rendition. These drivers allow you to play Quake and Quake descended games, as well as other OpenGL games that do not require a full OpenGL ICD.

Major new features in this release of the MiniGL include H3D stereo glasses support, triple buffering, line doubled stereo support, vertex array optimizations, gamma table support, and point parameter extension support.

This release should be considered "gold" - all major issues have been resolved and todo items completed. If any new serious bugs are discovered however, this MiniGL may once again be updated

Unreal Weapon Guide  [11:02 AM EDT]
A Deathmatch Weapons Strategy page is up on Unreal Nation giving some helpful info on where to point that darn thing (just don't shoot it in the house, kids).

Unreal Assassin 3D Config  [11:02 AM EDT]
FPGaming's Assassin 3D Unreal support page is up with instructions on how to configure the A3D for Unreal. Thanks Frans P. de Vries of 3D Action Gamers'.

Official Unreal Tech Info Page  [4:38 AM EDT]
Hehe: Moments after posting the pile of issues below, Tim Sweeney dropped a line with word that he's put up an Unreal Technical Information page to make my post obsolete, with a much better way of handling these things:

I've set up a web page with some Unreal technical information, a list of known bugs, and experimental (not widely tested) patches for enthusiasts who want to be on the bleeding edge of Unreal.

I'll be adding new information on an hourly or daily basis. Check it out:
http://unreal.epicgames.com/

Some topics I cover:

Unreal Issues: UDP, Cyrix & Performance
A few posts to the Unreal MegaMessage Board by Tim Sweeney seem to cover most all of the issues I'm hearing about from those who have the game:

Internet Play  [4:25 AM EDT]
Tim Sweeney made a post to this MegaBoard thread addressing performance over the internet (thanks Jon Renner):

We're seeing very unpredictable and sporadic performance on the public Internet Unreal servers. I'm looking into what's causing this now. I'm suspecting either higher than expected packet loss, or something in my UDP code is breaking under Internet conditions.

We'll be putting out several server-side updates over the next two weeks to address this problem, improve GameSpy and master server support, and any other server problems that come up.

This is the team's first Internet game, so we're learning a lot as we go. It will probably take another few updates before Internet performance is really good across a wide range of machines. Everyone's feedback and patience is much appreciated. You can send bug reports and things to unreal@epicgames.com and we'll see them.

Cyrix Processors  [4:25 AM EDT]
Also some (all?) users with Cyrix CPU's seem to be having difficulties, addressed by Tim's post to this thread:

Guys, can everyone with a Cyrix processor who can't play Unreal please run Unreal.exe, let it crash, and then email me your \Unreal\System\Unreal.log file? Also in the email, tell me whether you'd be willing to work with me to try several patches via email.

We'll get Cyrix support fixed...thanks for the help.

Performance  [4:25 AM EDT]
Finally, Mark Rein posted some performance tips here on how to get a better framerate (doh! sorry I ommitted the link the first time arround).

GameSpy 2.0 Beta 5 (Unreal Support)  [4:25 AM EDT]
GameSpy 3D 2.0 Beta 5 is out, offering support for Unreal. This release, like the previous version 2.0 betas (now in testing since the Macarena was still charting), is for registered users only.

Descent Freespace Demo Patch  [4:25 AM EDT]
There's a version 1.2 patch for the Descent Freespace Demo up on the Volition Inc. page. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

New Tribes Screenshots  [4:25 AM EDT]
CornBoy!'s Tribes screen shot page has some of CB's personal favorites from their upcoming game until a larger pre-E3 StarSiege site can be put up.

Unreal Ladder  [4:25 AM EDT]
An Unreal Ladder has been added to The Ladder Complex.

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Quake/Quake II Mods

Movie  [4:25 AM EDT]
There's a new movie up on the DEMentED 2 page titled Bedtime Story that should probably be rated X, or NC-17 or whatever they do to denote that a film is intended for mature audiences (or immature ones?). PharCyde created it by himself to show how easy it is for Quake II movies to be created using his program, even by a single person controlling multiple actors (by running through the scene more than once, and meshing the scenes together!).

SkinView  [4:25 AM EDT]
The SkinView Mod for Quake II is out, a tool to allow skin artists to easily view their custom player skins right in the actual Quake II environment.

Front-ends  [4:25 AM EDT]
A new Quick Start Eraser Bot Wizard is available, version 2.06. A new version 3.0 of the Eraser Front-end (EFE) is now out. Finally QStart 1.4 is out fixing a memory bug in 1.3.

Editorials  [4:25 AM EDT]
What's The Deal With... Patches on OGR (thanks Brandon Suzuki), and Just Because I'm Paranoid... on PQ (dealing with questions raised by the StarCraft registry sniffing episode).

Da Biz  [4:25 AM EDT]
A few changes: Congrats to Scott McNutt, who posted word of his hiring by Raven Software up in SM Levels for Quake (thanks Darrell Esau). Scott will be working on the Soldier of Fortune Quake II engine game. Also, Ansible Software, Inc. is a new computer game developer specializing in the science fiction genre, has been founded by Peter Lincroft, veteran of X-Wing versus TIE Fighter. Finally, Mojo Science is a new game company based in Austin Texas founded by Frank Maddin, the lead programmer for Shadow Warrior.  Their flagship product is a 3D shooter/adventure game called MAXX UNIVERSE.

etc.

Out of the Blue
I got to play with Unreal for a very short time yesterday, and wow! It's just a quick first impression of single player play, but I am impressed enough to comment after such a short time, surprising even myself. There's lots of attention to detail: I love the ambient creatures, all the water surface effects, the fog and lighting, and damn those outdoor areas are just huge! It's dark and scary, and I've already had an experience I can describe as frightening (probably the most cherished experience of single-player play). I look forward to playing some more (if updates are spotty this weekend blame that). BTW, I guess it matters, so I'll point out the machine I used was a PII-300 (o/c'ed to 338/75) with two 12 MB Voodoo 2's in SLI.

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All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Heaslip