Blue's News artwork by Walter |2| Costinak <2@2design.org>
Articles in the archive contain broken links because outdated files are removed.

Previous Week   News Archive   Current News   Next Week

Please visit our sponsors and buy lots of their products. Also, you should floss. ignlogo.gif (1565 bytes)

Friday, June 5, 1998

Off-Line
The news desk here will be down, at least until tomorrow, and maybe until Sunday evening. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

New QuakeVoice  [5:50 PM EDT]
A new beta 9 of QuakeVoice is out. QVoice is a project that is attempting to bring real-time voice communication to Quake II (apparently still not working for everyone yet). Thanks Phoenix_X.

New Grandmaster B  [5:50 PM EDT]
A new Ask Grandmaster B (Brian Hook) is up on Voodoo Extreme.

DirectX 5.2b  [5:50 PM EDT]
A DirectX 5.2b is available for download, on the DirectX Media run time download page. Billy "Spare Ribs" Wilson (Voodoo Extreme) strikes again.

New Righteous 3d II Drivers  [5:50 PM EDT]
Billy at VE also sends word of new Righteous 3D II drivers on the heels of the release of the new Voodo2 reference drivers.

Anachrochat Tonight  [1:32 PM EDT]
A reminder that tonight is the monthly Anachronox chat with Tom and the rest of the AnachroTeam. The festivities kick off at 8:00 PM Central time, the chat can be accessed through www.ionstorm.com with a Java enabled browser, or as the network for an IRC client, in channel #ion.

Quake 64 Art Opening  [12:12 PM EDT]
Paul Steed dusted off his .plan and updated with a whole bunch of stuff including a help wanted for a company in San Diego for the Quake N64 port: Here's an excerpt that details the opportunity:

While I'm plugging I want to call out to all and any artists capable of more than competently pushing pixels. I know a developer in San Diego (Gorgeous place, BTW) who needs an accomplished 2d/3d artist to help do a N64 port of Quake2. No shit. This could be your first and biggest step towards a career in this ludicrously competetive industry. E-mail me some 2d pixel pushage and a little about yourself and I'll pass you along. Speaking of pixelage, as soon as 'wood get's back to me with his picks we'll announce the winner of our skin pack contest for my 'ho.

Unreal SpaceOrb Support  [12:12 PM EDT]
Spacetec IMC has released an official Unreal patch version 1.1 (67 KB) on their FTP site. Here's a local copy (67 KB) courtesy of GamesNET's super-cool FTP. Thanks Kster[CR]. Here's word from the SpaceTec message forum:

Jumping and crouching are currently only supported through button actions, but not on the ball. However, swimming and flyint _are_ supported on the ball. I've sent an email to the Unreal developers to see what can be done about jumping and crouching on the ball.

More Unreal Tech Info  [11:36 AM EDT]
The Unreal Technical Information page has been updated with some goodies for content creators, including a 3DS Unreal Model Importing tool, and a link to GreenMarine's Object-Oriented Programming Tutorial. Thanks Skarz.

Half-Life IRC  [11:36 AM EDT]
A reminder comes from The News Hive of the IRC session with the Valve guys tonight on today at 4:00 PM Pacific time (7:00 PM Eastern) in UnderNET #Half-Life.

New Lithium II Quake II Mod  [11:22 AM EDT]
Version 1.01 of Lithium II the highly configurable server-side deathmatch modification for Quake II is out which includes fast weapon swathing support. There is also word on the Lithium home of a beta list for server ops who want to help test new features.

Voodoo 2 Cooler  [11:22 AM EDT]
Tony on Yahoo sends along this press release describing the Stealth V2 Cooler, a cooling solution for the 3Dfx Interactive Voodoo2 reference design.

Glaze3D  [11:22 AM EDT]
This interview on Combat Simulations described the upcoming Glaze3D, a video card that claims it will achieve 4.5 times Voodoo2. This was on Voodoo Extreme and I was reminded of it by Withnail.

Corrections  [11:22 AM EDT]
I wasn't kidding when I said "Don't blink or you'll miss a revamped Intel marketing plan," in the time since I posted this story about Intel Price cuts, the stories projected 300 MHz Celeron release date was pushed back, and the range of projected price cuts went up from 10-15% to 15-20% (thanks Carp). Also looks like I was right in the first place about Descent: Freespace being gold as of last Saturday, Adam (I wrote Andy yesterday, sorry) from Volition let me know the report from them was the only one he sent out, and that Silvered is the word he uses for "gold" (until next time her says), so there was not a second update on that.

Urban Chaos & Recoil Screenshots  [4:32 AM EDT]
There are some Urban Chaos Screenshots on GameSlice showing off this upcoming 3rd person action/adventure game from Mucky Foot, a group of ex-Bullfrog employees (bud...weis...er!). Also up on GS are New Shots of Recoil, a vehicle based shooter in the works from Zipper Interactive.

Quake II Editing Tutorials  [4:17 AM EDT]
Twelve new tutorials were posted last week on the QOOLE Page covering basics and advanced Quake II editing with the Quake Object Oriented Level Editor (thanks The Quake2 Pipeline). Also, after a brief break, WolfeN has posted the tenth tutorial on Q2 editing with QERadiant on Ravages of Radiant.

OntheWay Q2 Server Utility  [3:44 AM EDT]
Version 1.20 Beta of OnTheWay Quake II server utility is now available, a powerful GUI server front-end.

g.o.b. (Gathering of Banshees)  [3:37 AM EDT]
Industrious Billy over at Voodoo Extreme has gathered together a listing of all the Voodoo Banshee info posted yesterday lovingly pulled from each of the several articles on 3Dfx's upcoming 2D/3D video card.

Hardware Forum  [3:37 AM EDT]
In a pun worthy of Blue's News, the Hardware/Software Forum on Clan GodMonkey's Home Page, subtitles itself the GL Faux-Jo, as it tries to fill the void caused by the absence of the forum on Zanshin's GLDojo which is offline for the moment.

Thresh Rocks On  [3:37 AM EDT]
Though he fails to fulfil the Dr. Hook dream of making the cover, Thresh comes close: He's profiled in the June 25th issue of Rolling Stone in an article called "Thresh and Blood." Thanks Lee Brantley and Roto-Rooter.

Tournament  [3:37 AM EDT]
Tournament of Gods is a QuakeWorld QW 2.2(1) tourney with high and low ping divisions.

Out of the Blue
Lots of strong opinion pieces posted yesterday (including one I pulled pending confirmation that it's for public consumption). Like the old saying, opinions are like orifices (orifi?) and everyone has one: I assume that it's understood that I do not necessarily agree with an opinion piece just because I posted it here (it wouldn't be possible to agree with all of them since some contradict others). I'm interested in feedback on the value of posting links to opinion pieces from anyone who feels like sharing and am willing to take suggestions for a context to posting them so that everyone is best served (perhaps posting reader responses to opinion pieces).

Thursday, June 4, 1998

Intel Price Cuts Monday  [11:08 PM EDT]
Don't blink or you'll miss a revamped Intel marketing plan, as News.Com is now predicting a 10-15% CPU price cut announcement from Intel this Monday. The article quotes an industry analyst saying "This is the first time the company has made a price cut in the last month of the quarter."

WCP Mission Pack  [11:08 PM EDT]
There's word on IntroSpection on a unique-sounding promotion Origin is cooking up for a Wing Commander Prophecy Mission Pack that involves downloading a special WCP client and then weekly "episodes" of the new mission pack. You can find all the details on this scheme on the page (devoted to WC news in general). Chalk another one up to Billy at VE.

GameCenter's E3 & Unreal  [10:54 PM EDT]
GameCenter has a few items of interest, from E3, their preview of Warren Spector's Deus Ex and a look at Action/Adventure From Cavedog. Also, I saw on Voodoo Extreme that they review Unreal giving four of five X's.

X-Com & Descent Both Gold  [10:54 PM EDT]
Meant to post these this morning: Lorien from Gamer's Alliance sends word that X-Com: Interceptor is Gold. Also, word on Operation 3.D.F.X. from Adam at Volition is that Descent: Freespace is Gold, which explains why Adam said silver last week (sorry for causing confusion with that).

New Kali with Unreal Support  [10:01 PM EDT]
Though word isn't yet up on the Kali.net newspage, version 1.46 of Kali (2.3 MB) is up on their FTP site. The new version adds launch support for Lemmings Paintball, and Unreal. Thanks The News Hive. Here's a local copy (2.3 MB) courtesy of GamesNET's Dolphin-safe FTP.

Spilling Banshee Beans  [10:01 PM EDT]
Next-Generation Online - New Banshee Details Revealed, and GameCenter - 3Dfx Reveals Details on Banshee give out previously secret details about the design and performance of the upcoming Voodoo Banshee. Here's a quote from the Next-Gen article:

3Dfx expects Banshee to have the highest 2D performance in the world, based on some unique features that it has implemented in hardware. Banshee provides direct hardware polygon support, for instance, which enables it to immediately draw polygons based on vertices data rather than relying on a middle step of software rasterization or drawing each line in the polygon. This feature should enable the Banshee to draw a polygon in tens of cycles rather than the thousands required for conventional devices. Matrox should find this claim particularly interesting considering it's G200 is/was slated to be the fastest 2D board around.

QuakeCast, err, Shooters  [7:29 PM EDT]
Tonight on whatever it is we're calling the show this week we will talk with greenmarine from Orange Smoothie Productions about Unreal scripting, Joost tells me we'll have a discussion about cheating in multiplayer Quake II with "7-Granny," and an E3 recap. I'm also told we'll be giving away a copy of Quake II: the Reckoning (to someone in chat I imagine). It's all at 8:00 PM Eastern, Real player required (and yes I can tell by the time I'm posting this that I'm going to be late).

Ritual Hires Two Artists  [7:19 PM EDT]
Congrats to Murphy Michaels (credits include Rise of the Triad, Pitfall, Duke Nukem, and Shadow Warrior as well as  work on Enemy Nations, Legends ’98, and most recently ION Storm's upcoming Daikatana), and Mike "Chaos" Werckle recently of Raven Software who has also previously worked for Dynamix and Viacom New Media. Both graphic artists have signed on with Ritual Entertainment. and will "add their considerable talents to some of Ritual’s hottest new projects, including Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. 2."

MailBag  [7:19 PM EDT]
Today in the MailBag are responses to the current thread on breakthroughs in first person shooters offering some interesting well thought out opinions on the subject.

Blood2 Update  [7:19 PM EDT]
Weekly update #7 has been posted on the Blood 2 The Chosen page offering insights into motion capture and animation techniques they are using in the game.

Ask Grandmaster B  [6:48 PM EDT]
GrandMaster B's Q&A column is up on Voodoo Extreme planning on offering answers from the Grandmaster (Brian Hook to earthlings) on various matters, in general not related specifically to id software, Quake, or boot magazine. Today's question and answer is nice and techie dealing with high level versus low-level texture management.

Benchmarks  [6:48 PM EDT]
Adrenaline Vault Hardware Sector 3D Benchmarks has a pretty comprehensive database of benchmarks from various video cards. Thanks to Voodoo Extreme's own Herbie the Love Bug, Billy Wilson.

Trespasser at E3  [6:30 PM EDT]
The official Trespsasser site has been updated with an account of their showing at E3. Thanks Grizzly.

Prey Portal Shot  [5:37 PM EDT]
There's an exclusive Prey Screenshot on OGR showing off portal technology. Screenshots often don't end up conveying the in game feel they portray, and to be honest this is no exception, as it does not really do the coolness of the way portals work justice (that image in the circle is a real-time window into another room that you could shoot or walk through into that is rotating on two axis simultaneously).

E3 Rumbles On  [5:37 PM EDT]
Fargo reports on Sin from E3 for Ritualistic with an interview with Charlie Wiederhold. A Half-Life Preview from E3 is up on Artificial Intelligence. OGR has posted their best of game awards as well.

RIVA TNT Shot  [5:37 PM EDT]
There are screenshots from the RIVA TNT, one of the buzz products of E3 up on Voodoo Extreme affiliate 3DXTC. There's a shot from MotorHead, and another of Quake II.

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

Deathmatch Manager  [5:37 PM EDT]
Version 2.3 of Deathmatch Manager, a comprehensive utility for customizing and managing LAN Quake2 sessions, or even single-player sessions with GUI utilities to set up and configure servers, including may custom features like MIDI playing and Eraser bots, as well as a GUI utility for clients, which will start the game, countdown to the timelimit, and good stuff like that.

Another Quake Voice Beta  [5:37 PM EDT - Updated]
After posting word of Beta 7 this morning, Beta 8 of the QuakeVoice, or QVoice, project is now available. In a pretty exciting development, I'm told this beta is actually working (something prior releases couldn't necessarily claim) to add actual real-time voice messaging to Quake II. Thanks Phoenix_X.

Erased  [11:33 AM EDT]
The Quake 2 Erased Launcher is a new Eraser Bot launcher. Version 1.1 is, now available, fixed to read bots from bots.cfg.

Starsiege Tribes  [3:42 PM EDT]
The official Tribes site is now online, with details from the story of the game as well as some brand new screenshots from the E3 demos of this cool looking first-person multiplayer game. There are also some different shots on Scott "CornBoy!" Youngblood's personal screenshot leak page.

More CyberAthletics  [3:31 PM EDT]
The CyberAthlete Organization, on the heels of the previous announcement of increased prizes for their upcoming July tourney in Texas has announced a third prize: another endorsement deal, his one with SAS Bazooka worth $1000. Also, the Aftershock Tournament (Toronto Canada, August 28-30) has announcing that they are endorsed by the CPL, and will follow its regulations. Some opinion pieces on this kind of stuff have come my way recently: This editorial on AVault rips into the PGL over the skin incident in the finals calling it "cheating," but remember the AVault is owned by New World.com, Inc., owners of the competing CPL. Also, amid all the CPL and PGL goings on, the enigmatically nicknamed "me" sends along word of this protquake editorial on the state of professional gaming in a piece that expresses some strong opinions.

Dr Sleep Interview  [2:32 PM EDT]
The Daikatana Cabana on Stormtroopers has an interview with Daikatana level designer Dr Sleep.

New 3Dfx OpenGL Beta  [1:17 PM EDT]
This 3Dfx Interactive File Download page has beta 2.1 of their full Windows 95/98 OpenGL driver for Voodoo2, Voodoo Graphics or Voodoo Rush 3D Accelerators. Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

Unreal OpenGL & Direct 3D  [1:17 PM EDT]
Billy at VE also hit me on the head for not mentioning this goody from a MegaBoard post by Tim Sweeney (found on UnrealNation) that gives the state of OpenGL and Direct3D support in Unreal:

Two separate teams are working hard on the OpenGL and Direct3D drivers for Unreal. OpenGL is up and running now on several cards(though still very rough, and not releasable yet). Direct3D is rougher, and will probably have to target DirectX6 which isn't available yet, because Unreal uses a very large amount of textures, and DX5's texture handling is a very big performance bottleneck.

We would have loved to have these in time for shipping, but they are taking a far larger development effort than other 3D support (like 3dfx and PowerVR) because they target a much wider range of hardware, which requires more development and testing time.

The 3dfx driver is my code, and I'm the one working on the Voodoo Rush fix (with 3dfx's help). So, fortunately, the time I'm spending on Voodoo Rush, network code, and other fixes isn't impacting Direct3D/OpenGL support.

I'll update the bugs page to reflect this.

Intel's Plans  [1:03 PM EDT]
Intel accelerates new chip's debut is a CNET/News.Com article talking of Intel's plans to release Katmai, their next-generation processor (sometimes referred to as MMX2), earlier than originally planned, as well as their plans to increase production on Pentium II and Celeron chips. Though the inference could be drawn that this is a reaction to recent reports of exceptional performance from AMD's upcoming line of K6-2 processors, the article cites Intel's "better-than-expected success with its current manufacturing technology" as the motivation behind this move (it should be noted that Intel is an investor in CNET). Also, Intel Looks To Dominate Arcade Games is a TechWeb article describing the current state of the chipmaking giant's ongoing efforts at entering the arcade machine market.

Tournaments  [11:33 AM EDT]
The tourney scene was seeming slow for a while, but a few announcements seem to indicate it's picking up again: BotC - Battle Of The Clans is now accepting sign-ups for their Quake II CTF tournament. Also, the Major League Quake tournament is a Quake clan competition with three divisions (high ping, low ping, and open). Finally, Clan 519 is getting a Quake II ladder underway.

On Server Browsers  [11:33 AM EDT]
Q.S.B.N. (Quake Server Browser News), always keeping up with the server browser (programs to help you find the most playable multiplayer games on the Internet) scene, has added a review of the grand-daddy of them all, Kali, as well as a New ratings system for browsers ("two clicks and a full circle for that one!").

CPL Boosts Prize Package  [11:01 AM EDT]
The Cyberathlete Organization announced today that two of their league sponsors have increased the prizes for the upcoming CPL Tournament at the Infomart in Dallas July 23-26. The winner of the CPL's official one-on-one Quake competition will now receive a sponsorship deal from Babbage's Etc. that will include $3000 cash. The second place winner will now receive a sponsorship deal from ACT LABS that will include $2000 cash.

PGL Season 2 Wrap-up  [11:01 AM EDT]
AMD Professional Gamers' League page has the aftermath of Season 2 after the finals at E3. The PGL Photo Album from the finals is up, commentaries and demos are available. The overall winner was P1-Rosco, who won two straight matches against Kuin (previously undefeated in PGL play). The first match was 5-2 on Q2DM5; the second he won 7-1 on Q2DM1. Also, for the record Hawk3 goes home with the fabulous Sominex® Cup as the winner of the RTS division (Total Annihilation), defeating Butcher7.

ICQ Exploit Update  [10:45 AM EDT]
Christian over at id passed along the word that the ICQ exploit (described earlier) is no longer as severe a threat as it was, since as of yesterday Mirabilis has temporarily disallowed the changing of passwords on their server. Apparently the worst that can be done by an outsider to your account is to temporarily disconnect you from the server, at which point your client will just try to reconnect (like any ICQ user would find that unusual), though it's still probably wise to proceed with caution. Thanks again to dis for the word on this.

Unreal Multiplayer Status  [10:37 AM EDT]
Saw on Unreal Nation that Tim Sweeney addressed what's wrong with Unreal 'net play in a rescent post to the MegaBoard:

Here is a status of the major performance problems in Unreal's current network code (especially with internet play, most so with 28.8K connections):

1. The client code isn't capping its outgoing bandwidth, causing client control messages to pile up and get delayed. This is what has some people complaining about "UberLag", the 2-5 second lag in firing. I'm experimenting with a fix.

2. The ServerUplink and ServerQuery scripts were soaking up a huge amount of CPU time on servers which enabled them; server admins are working around by disabling them.

3. A bad choice of default server rate setting (it was 35, and people report that 10-15 works much better). Server admins are working around by modifying this setting.

4. Servers saturating the client with messages (like sound notifications) that should be culled. This is what causes players and projectiles to skip around unpredictably in heavy-combat situations.

There are also a lot of other less critical problems that need to be fixed in the server code, but the above ones are the critical ones. I've been working on fixes for these and hope to have a comprehensive client-side patch available for everyone next Tuesday. I appologize if people feel the fixes are going too slowly; my time is currently spread pretty thinly between network fixes, hardware support fixes, E3, and releasing tech info to the Unreal community.

Experimental Unreal Rush Fix  [10:37 AM EDT]
Epic's Known Bugs & Experimental Patches page has an experimental patch to fix Unreal Voodoo Rush support (RushBeta203.zip). Thanks again to Unreal Nation. Here's the lowdown:

Experimental Voodoo Rush fix. Adventurous Voodoo Rush owners, please unzip this update into your \Unreal\System directory: RushBeta203.zip ... if you have any Voodoo Rush related problems after installing the update, please email me and describe them. If there is a crash, email your \Unreal\System\Unreal.log file too. Thanks!

ICQ Exploit  [10:22 AM EDT]
There is an ICQ exploit that has now emerged in a report on rootshell. Thanks [R2]Hoonis. It's a touchy thing publicizing exploits, but I have to assume that by the time it hits the exploit sites like rootshell, then the bad guys are already up on it, and it's the rest of us that need a warning. The exploit can allow a user to usurp your UIN, change your password and lock you out of ICQ, send messages to your list, and assorted bad stuff like that. It seems the only way to ensure your account's safety is to not log onto ICQ until it's fixed, which is the big suck, since I know how many people rely on ICQ at this point.

Heretic II Preview/Interview  [10:22 AM EDT]
PQ's Fargo interviews Bob Love, Heretic II programmer, talking about Raven's 3rd-person Heretic sequel, now in development. Thanks HexenWorld.

E3 Mania  [10:22 AM EDT]
More E3 stuff than you can shake a stick at (if stick shaking is your idea of a good time): Half-Life at E3 on the Gaming News Guild (thanks Allan McKay); Sgt. Hulka's Bootcamp reports on E3 (the Sarge risks writers cramp pumping out a full paragraph!); E3: Major Trends At the Show is a GameSlice aticleditorial from yesterday, and today's is called E3: A Lack of Focus. Geoff from GameSlice is also TC's interview victim on the Daily Dementia where they discuss the show. Here's watchers E3 PIX PAGE (six uncaptioned pix of people you don't know); The 1998 Adrenaline Vault E3 Awards are up (thanks Kasirak). The Disciples of Syrinx got a look at TeamFortress2 from Robin of TFS/Valve. Finally, Infinite MHz! has an interview with Paul S in a 5 Minute Prey.mpg that weighs in at about 11 MB.

Unreal Resources  [10:22 AM EDT]
directunreal on FINAL REST has the beginnings of a sniggle-player guide, and can help you find useful Unreal resources (now if they could find the Caps lock).

Unreal Level Reviews (Updated)  [10:22 AM EDT]
There are reviews of one single player Unreal level and 10 deathmatch maps on Totally Unreal (I originally wrote they were all single player, sorry for the confusion, thanks 3D Gamer's Edge for the correction).

CTFBot+  [12:53 AM EDT]
I failed to note yesterday's release of the CTFBot+ for Quake, now hosted on Captured.Com. Here's the deal, ripped from Dakota's post:

After a long period of secret development, Anthony "*this" Distler's is ready to unveil the CTFBot+. This release is actually three releases in one. The first is CTF Bot 1.4, which is Drew Davidson's never released upgrade for CTF Bot 1.2. The second is CTFBot+, Anthony's modifications to the CTF Bot 1.4 source. Finally, if these weren't enough, Anthony has also included the CTF Bot Coordinator, a Windows application that allows the user to easily configure, compile, and run the CTFBot+

The BodyShop Found!  [12:53 AM EDT]
I've gotten a lot of mail recently asking where the BodyShop went, so I had to dig around to find it: here's the 3D The BodyShop. Update: Since this story was posted, a forwarding page was placed in the Bodyshop's old location.

Duke Forever at E3  [12:53 AM EDT]
GameCenter reports on Duke Nukem Forever at E3. Thanks Ant.

3D Madness  [12:53 AM EDT]
Billy at VE sends along a link to a CPU Madness article on 3D that goes into the workings of a 3D engine as well as defining all those 3D terms.

Out of the Blue
Some folks who've sent in news over time have asked that their email address be omitted from the credit for the story to help them avoid spam from web-bots who search pages for addresses to add to mailing-lists. I'm sad to say that the state of the spam glut these days is so severe that I am no longer including email addresses for any of these story credits, I am just using the nickname (though I will add website addresses when available). I guess it will also help avoid confusion, since I know the folks who send in stories occasionally get questions from readers who think they are directly involved in the subject of the news story.

Wednesday, June 3, 1998               New today: Loony's E3 Report Part 2

Unreal Multiplayer Fixes & GameSpy  [9:25 PM EDT]
Saw on Unreal Nation that Mark "Bastard" Surfas updated his .plan with word on what's up with fixes for Unreal's net performance and GameSpy support, as well as the news that Cliffy from Epic was going to be at the next Beatdown to beat everyone down at Unreal:

Unreal Multiplayer fixes are on the way!

We've been working on both the Unreal and the GameSpy side of things to get Internet Multiplayer *really happening* the way it should. A couple of notes for you:

1. We found that setting Unreal Servers to uplink to a master server takes the CPU on a p2-300 from 2% to 80% and pegs it there. Kind of cuts down on what the server can do. ;) crt wrote a replacement for "master tick code" and sent it to Tim Sweeney.

2. crt also wrote a UDP server query class to replace the TCP class that is *so* tremendously slow. They are testing this at Epic now.

We're going to release the full version of GameSpy just as soon as the Unreal fixes come out and we can test our performance against 100+ servers. We just aren't comfortable with a full release until users can get a decent experience with unreal.

Unreal Multiplayer is extremely fun! If you can get to Southern California on June 13th, try to get into the Beatdown www.planetquake.com/beatdown/. Cliff B from Epic is attending and promises to show us why unreal deathmatch is soooooo kickass!

Prey MPG  [9:11 PM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault's E3 1998 Coverage has the floor movie that was shown of Prey at E3 available for download as a 15 MB .mpg file. Thanks Allan McKay.

Voodoo Banshee Sneak Peak  [9:08 PM EDT]
bootWire has a sneak peak at Voodoo Banshee spilling as many beans as they can. Thanks to Billy at Voodoo Extreme, a Voodoo Banshee in his own right.

Hook's Response  [6:30 PM EDT]
Brian Hook updated his .plan replying to a couple of Alex  St. John's statements (see below).

St. John versus Hook  [5:10 PM EDT]
In this response to a reader's query in the Ask Alex section of bootNET, columnist Alex St. John responds to a couple of recent .plan updates by Brian Hook (an original blunt .plan and a revised "diplomatic" version) that refute statements he's made and question his credibility, in what's shaping into a bit of a public fight. If you are not yet aware, Billy at Voodoo Extreme has announced Brian is going to be having an Ask Hook section (not sure that's the name of it) over on VE where Brian will be answering some reader mail himself. Thanks JaGa.

Shogo Shots  [4:45 PM EDT]
There are two exclusive screenshots of Shogo: Mobile Armor Division up on Revolt: Shogo Intelligence Division along with some hints about that site's restructuring in progress to keep current with the recent change in the game's title.

Rocket Arena 2 page  [4:45 PM EDT]
RA2 Inside and Out is a great new resource to play if you want to play Rocket Arena 2 for Quake II with the big guns, offering a tactics section that ranges from controls to "whining and winning."

Unreal Reviews  [12:47 PM EDT]
OGR has pumped out one of their sprawling game breakdowns in their Unreal Review. Also looking at the game is The Quake Literary Guild.

Bell Atlantic ADSL  [12:12 PM EDT]
Bell Atlantic has announced ADSL Service starting in September, predicting stupid-fast internet service in over seven million homes (including NYC, w00p!) by the end of 1999. Thanks Eric Rose.

Prax War Screenshots  [11:54 AM EDT]
The Rebel Boat Rocker website has got some recently released Prax War screenshots online, including one brand new one. Thanks to master editor Kandyman.

MailBag  [11:54 AM EDT]
In today's MailBag crash (crash's SPQ2) takes a look at the question raised in a recent MailBag thread: what is the next leap in 3D shooter innovation going to be, or if it is possible to make a leap in the genre at this point. We also have a response to Matt Sefton (coincidentally a noted SPQ maven in his own right) on the subject of single-player versus multiplayer play, and its impact on a game's longevity.

Unreal & GameSpy  [10:01 AM EDT]
After word yesterday that the GameSpy Unreal list is the only one operating properly with GameSpy (story), loony updated the GameSpy page with word on how others with Unreal server lists can get them to work properly. Here's the update:

What you need is an Unreal Master File. Now, this isn't a big deal...and while you and I can't exactly create these things on the fly, anyone running an Unreal Server List can.

The format is simple: it's just a .txt file that has the following info:

ip address game port query port

(note that the spaces are very important!)

So an example of this would be PlanetUnreal's master, which has the following info:

24.129.1.250 7777 8777
206.165.5.151 7777 8777
206.165.5.151 7778 8778
209.203.67.133 7777 8777
203.2.143.253 7777 8777
207.149.128.251 7777 8777
206.58.210.72 7777 8777
152.157.147.13 7777 8777

Once you've got the URL to one of these files, you can add masters at will by just right-clicking under the Unreal section, and choosing Add Server List, and entering it in.

Attention to Server List Authors: If your list is generating this file, e-mail me, and I'll include you in the dynamically updated master.import file. Thanks! :)

Sprint or Crawl?  [9:35 AM EDT]
Analysts Sour On Sprint Network Plans is a TechWeb article that casts a skeptical eye on Sprint's "Integrated On-Demand Network," announced yesterday amidst considerable fanfare. Here is a quote that explains the doubts:

"This is smoke and mirrors, covering up a bad earnings announcement," said David Goodtree, director of telecom strategies for Forrester Research, a Cambridge, Mass., research company. "They were not creditable. They threw in every networking buzzword in a grand concept of fuzziness. There is nothing there."

Goodtree said he could not see what magic bullet Sprint had that other telcos like AT&T, MCI, Bell Atlantic, Quest, and Williams did not.

Intel's Planned Price Cuts  [9:35 AM EDT]
Xeon, Intel price cuts due June 29 is an article on News.Com outlining the short-term roadmap for Intel's Xeon release and concurrent price cuts. Also, How strong is the FTC's Intel case is another News.Com piece analyzing the uncharted waters the FTC is sailing into if they sue Intel as is speculated.

More E3 RealAudio  [9:11 AM EDT]
The Daily Dementia today speaks with Eric Demilt on Fallout 2; Bill Dugan on Descent III (moment of the show, Bill offers the possible subtitle Descent III: the Cheddar); Kiln (the Forsaken Challenge Winner); Ray Muzyka on Baldur's Gate; as well as some mumbled nonsense in passing from Lithium, Millenium, and some guy named Blue about E3 (TC is so into this ass-end of the show he has a poll up about it).

New PingTool  [8:52 AM EDT]
Version 2.1 beta 4 of PingTool, the server browser that can find your best multiplayer servers in QuakeWorld, HexenWorld, Quake II, and Unreal is out on the PingTool page as a full installer (2.6 MB), or an upgrade (241 KB) to previous versions. Here's a local copy of the upgrade (241 KB) and the full installer (2.6 MB) courtesy of GamesNET's vitamin-fortified FTP. This version corrects bugs in the newly-implemented Unreal support where some Unreal servers were failing to time out properly, fixes some bugs in the web page parsing code, and eliminates the bug that crashed the program the first time it ran on a system. Thanks The News Hive.

Geometry Processor Info  [4:38 AM EDT]
Boosted speed w 3D geometry processors is an article on 3D XTC discussing the impact a geometry processor may have on performance, in particular on lower-end machines. The article has been updated with info from E3 on the Hercules Thriller Conspiracy. Also, Geometry hurdles in the CPU Race is an articleditorial on 3dgaming pointed out by Billy "Go Jazz" Wilson of Voodoo Extreme.

More E3 Lunacy (loonacy?)  [3:09 AM EDT]
Not even stopping for breath, crack Blue's News correspondent Jason "loonyboi" Bergman continues his account of E3 today with a look at the remainder of the crop of first person shooters in Part 2 of loonyboi's E3 Report, focusing on Daikatana, Quake II 64, Aliens versus Predator, and Blood2: The Chosen.

Messiah Site  [3:09 AM EDT]
Messiah by Team Ego (a play on id Software?) is the website run by the members of Shiny working on the hellish and heavenly upcoming third-person game, Messiah. The site offers some new screenshots and info on the team (and more Java than you can shake a Starbucks at). Thanks Billy at Voodoo Extreme.

NT Voodoo2 Drivers as Well  [3:09 AM EDT]
In mentioning the new Win95/98 Voodoo2 drivers yesterday (story), I managed to fail to note that new NT drivers are also out, on this File Download page. Thanks X.Slayer.

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

Battle of the Sexes  [3:09 AM EDT]
Spinoza's Quake 2 Mods Page has a new version 2.9.6 server for Battle of the Sexes, the teamplay mod that allows men and women to sort out their differences from behind a gunsight. It's been a while since the last release, and there's an extensive list of changes.

Stroggs Gone Mad  [3:09 AM EDT]
Version of 1.2.03 of legion's Stroggs Gone Mad is out. SGM is a Quake II single player mod that. among other things, looks to smarten up the Q2 enemies by tweaking their AI, teaching their way around the level by routes and stuff like that. The new release adds coopflags so that server ops can prevent clients from killing each other in COOP games, as well as the addition of a hyper rocket launcher, the removal of cheat codes in coop games, and a smoother chasecam.

F.A.K.K.2 Site
Ritual's new F.A.K.K.2 website is online. That's about all there is to say about that (there's nothing there yet).

More E3  [3:09 AM EDT]
The Ritual Website has a bunch of photos from E3. Here's GameGirlz E3 Scoop. Reminiscences of "just a couple of guys" at E3: KombatKing's E3 Review and Pavarotti's E3 Review, both really fun reads (thanks Quaker). More Booth GirlTM photos, and an MPG of the "real" Lara Croft from the show are on Infinite MHz.

DM Con 4  [3:09 AM EDT]
A reminder the grand-daddy of the LAN parties: DeathMatch Con (DMCon 4), is June 19th, 20th, and 21st, in Des Moines Iowa (BYOC).

Swedish Fraggers  [3:09 AM EDT]
A Frag in the Darkness, the Swedish clan action database, is back up and running after a brief hiatus.

Sprint for the Net Dollars  [3:09 AM EDT]
Sprint unveils advanced telephone network. Hmmmm.

Out of the Blue
Eeek! We're number one? Okay, maybe not really, but according to the voting on the new Internet Websites Top 100 that's the case, and I don't know what to say to you all except thanks for the endless support you offer. Wild stuff...

Tuesday, June 2, 1998               New today: Loony's E3 Report Part 1

New 3Dfx Voodoo II Drivers  [10:25 PM EDT]
There are new Windows 95/98 Voodoo II reference drivers, including Glide 2.51, on this 3Dfx Interactive download page. These drivers are not for Voodoo Graphics or Voodoo Rush cards. Thanks 3 Fingers of 3 Fingers' & Heron's Stuff....

Duke Forever E3 Movie  [9:59 PM EDT]
The Adrenaline Vault's E3 1998 Coverage is underway, and they've posted an MPG of the three and a half minute Duke Nukem Forever movie shown on the floor of the show (all 32 MB of it, but it is pretty damn cool). Thanks Matt at Duke4.com.

Half-Life Interview - Chat  [9:59 PM EDT]
Valve level designer Dario Casali is interviewed on 3D Alpha Game News talking about Half-Life and level design and stuff. There is also an IRC chat session with some of the Valve crew chatting about HL and TeamFortress2 hosted by the newly opened Halflife.Net this Friday, June 5 at 4:00 PM Pacific time (7:00 PM Eastern) in UnderNET #Half-Life.

3DRealms E3 Photos  [9:42 PM EDT]
Joe Siegler, 3DRealms web-dude (and co-creator of Superman), has begun posting his multitude of photos from E3,. He's getting around to the mundane shots of the show eventually, but the special section on the booth babes is already underway.

Unreal Release Party Change  [9:30 PM EDT]
The date of the official Unreal release party in Toronto announced a couple of weeks ago by GamesCon has changed to June 20. Here's what they sent along describing the change:

GamesCon announces today that it will be holding the Official Unreal release party on June 20, 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.

Quake II 3.15 and PowerVR  [5:17 PM EDT]
August West's PowerVRoom sends along a warning for owners of PowerVR PCX2 accelerators about upgrading to Quake II 3.15:

The 3.15 release of Q2 has a pvrgl.dll that is older than the versions that have been available from Matrox and Videologic for a while now. It's crashed on a few people too, although I'm not sure why.

Anyway, if you're got a PCX2-based card, don't overwrite the pvrgl.dll in your Q2 dir. If you already have, get the newer version from Matrox or Videologic.

Unreal Server Listing  [5:17 PM EDT]
Jim McQuillan passes along the following for server operators about GameSpy and Unreal Server lists:

So far, the only Unreal server list that I found that is compatible with Gamespy (2.0b5 has Unreal support) is the one located at http://unreal.gamespy.com/. You should encourage people to use this as their 'master server' by finding the [IpDrv.ServerUplink] section of your unreal.ini (located in \unreal\system\ directory) and set DoUplink=True, and MasterServerAdress=unreal.gamespy.com. Also, set the comment string to identify your server. That's it!

[IpDrv.ServerUplink]
DoUplink=True
MasterServerAddress=unreal.gamespy.com
CommentString=Server Name Here

PGL Finals Model Incident  [2:31 PM EDT]
An article on Focus on Quake discusses an incident in the PGL finals at E3 where a combatant (Kuin) deleted the id player models on his machine to create a more visible opponent. I contacted the PGL to get their reaction to the questions this raised, and received an official response on the subject from Joe Perez:

1) Andy Vajda "unowned" was completely correct in that he was seen as a red and white player model on Kuin's screen.

2) I was one of the PGL officials on the stage floating between the two currently running matches and considered the main ref.   The other PGL refs were in the back in observer mode so they were not able to see the same screen I was seeing and notice the hacked player model.  The only other member of the PGL staff that was with me on stage was a network technician who players may have mistaken for a PGL Official.

3) I was under the impression that Kuin was using the player model on his screen for his character not unowned's character.   I had no idea that unowned was showing up as the red and white player model on Kuin's screen.  There seemed to be a major miscommunication here in the heat of running two matches almost simultaneously.  I did not stop the match or replay the match because I thought that it was no big deal for a player to be using a custom skin for themselves.  I did however tell Kuin to not use any custom skins in any future matches and he obliged.

4) Andy Vajda "unowned" did not raise too big of a stink when I told him the match would not be stopped since he was being a good sport.  Had I known what a great effect this could have had on the match I would have stopped it immediately or replayed it.

5) This is absolutely unacceptable and was a mistake on the part of the PGL.  Even though there was some miscommunication I should have made sure that I understood the situation before we proceeded to the next round.  This will not happen in future PGL season.

N64 Unreal Dead  [2:31 PM EDT]
IGN64 is reporting the cancellation of the Nintendo 64 port of Unreal. Thanks Kevin Ealy. Here's a quote:

According to Epic MegaGames, a Nintendo 64 version of the game just isn't possible. At one time Epic had considered a port to the 64DD, but recent developments leads the company to believe that the device will never surface in the US.

The termination is no big surprise, considering that the game was put on "indefinite hold" months ago, the same fate delivered to Virgin's Freak Boy, and a sure-sign of a project gone sour.

More E3 Aftermath  [2:31 PM EDT]
OGR has more E3 Expo '98 coverage with Recoil screenshots (first person action game), and their Wheel of Time report. Also here's a GameSlice artcleditorial looking at Anachronox, Drakan, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine, Recoil, and Urban Chaos.

Mad3D Demo  [2:11 PM EDT]
The second demo of the mad3d graphics engine is now available on madcow's pasture in both 3Dfx and non-3Dfx varieties. This demo is not a game, but an an unoptimized beta of the mad3d engine, offering a demonstration of its features which already include dynamic lighting, dynamic shadows, soft shadows, portal technology, and transparency effects.

Intel Inside ... the Courtroom?  [1:37 PM EDT]
Top FTC litigator: Sue Intel, is an article on News.Com that describes the recommendation of the top prosecutor for the Federal Trade Commission to bring Intel to court for anti-trust violations:

The top prosecutor for the Federal Trade Commission in its investigation of Intel has recommended pursuing an action against the chipmaker for alleged antitrust violations.

The high-level decision makes it very likely that the commission will seek legal recourse.

Sources close to the investigation have said that William J. Baer, the FTC's Director of the Bureau of Competition, has recommended to the five-person commission that charges be filed against Intel for breaking off nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), among other acts, to coerce computer vendors and other high-tech companies into courses of conduct beneficial to Intel.

A source said the commissioners are likely to vote on the recommendation early next week, although the process could take longer.

Unreal Voodoo Rush Update  [1:01 PM EDT]
Unreal Nation makes note of a post by Tim Sweeney to the MegaBoard that gives the latest on the state of a Voodoo Rush fix for Unreal:

A 3dfx engineer I'm working with has found the source of the problem (it's a weird three-way conflict between Glide, DirectDraw, and my window-management code). I'm working with him to find a fix that eliminates the problem. Then we need to do some testing on it. Unless there are new, unexpected problems with the code, we should have a fix available in 3-6 days.

I'm sorry for the time it's taking to nail this problem...it has been a difficult conflict to track down.

DD - Diablo2, Incoming, Blood2, and Unreal  [11:48 AM EDT]
It's an extravaganza of a Daily Dementia today over on the MeccaWorld as TC pumped out a new show to replace the edition of the DD posted in the wee hours with George Broussard (pulled at the request of 3DRealms, perhaps it was spilling secret beans). The new show has star quality to spare though, talking from the E3 floor with Steven Woo about Diablo 2, Chris Mollo about Incoming, Jay Wilson on Blood 2, and a chat with Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein about Unreal. RealPlayer (or the ability to receive mental UDP packets) required.

Unreal Tech Docs  [11:05 AM EDT]
Epic's Tim Sweeney has posted an Unreal Packages page aimed at Level Designers, UnrealScript Programmers, and C++ Programmers to teach them the care and feeding of Unreal "packages," which are collections "of related objects such as textures, sound effects, and scripts which are grouped together for convenient distribution and use." Thanks Unreal.org.

NIQ for Quake II  [10:48 AM EDT]
Version 1.4 of NIQ and NIQCTF for Quake II are out on NIQ Mods for Quake II fixing the "niq_kildpts" bug. Thanks The News Hive.

New WinGlide  [10:48 AM EDT]
Version 0.93 of WinGlide, the Voodoo in a window utility, is up on Chris' WinGlide Page in all three flavors: Gamma WinGlide, Overlay WinGlide, and Multi-threaded WinGlide. The new version now includes faster gamma correction support using MMX instructions, and fixes a bug in Overlay WinGlide.

System Shock 2  [10:48 AM EDT]
Mop sent along a note pointing out the announcement of System Shock 2 (here's the PC Gamer blurb), obviously the sequel to System Shock. The original SS is a first person RPG/shooter from back in the Doom days that was the first I can recall to offer many advanced features like mlook, and many of those who played SS back then considered it a breakthrough game, though it is not very well known. If my experience was any indication, something that held the original back was an ambitious feature set that it was rough on many systems of the day (I dubbed the slideshow it produced on my computer at the time "System Lock").

Savage 3D Interview  [10:38 AM EDT]
An S3 Savage3D Interview on HARDgame.Com talks to Glenn Schuster, S3's Director of Marketing for Desktop Graphics Products about S3's highly regarded upcoming 2D/3D offering.

Heavy Gear II Interview  [10:15 AM EDT]
The topic is Activision's upcoming hardware-only mech-combat game Heavy Gear II, as Gamer's Alliance Interviews the game's Project Director Jack Mamais. By the way, if you were unaware, PsychoNews is now officially merged into Gamer's Alliance, so best of luck to Lorien and all in their new partnership.

The Guild at One  [10:15 AM EDT]
Happy Birthday to The Quake Literary Guild, the Utne Reader of Quake. Grab your reading glasses and settle in with a good story.

E3 Photo-Rama  [3:37 AM EDT]
wendigo's Photo Archive now has the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) '98 viewed through the lens of the Ansel Adams of Quake with 100 photos of the thrills, the action, and, of course, the inevitable people with at least one eye closed.

Prey-view  [3:37 AM EDT]
Lithium over at the PreyGround has posted a spiffy Prey preview covering most everything known about the game, current through the recent E3 showings that wowed so many of us that saw it. All that, and the birth of a new TLA: PMF.

Riva Rantings  [3:37 AM EDT]
RivaZone has a report up from the much buzzed about showing of the RIVA TNT at E3. Since Billy at VE did the hard work in finding the juicy quote, I'll just ride his coattails:

The RIVA TNT was our first destination at E3. We wanted to see what NVIDIA's new graphics chip could do, even in its early stages. We watched Mark Daly from NVIDIA run the demos on the P2 400 system on a preproduction TNT that was running around 50-60% of its full speed. We watched Gremlin's Motorhead zip by at very smooth framerates at 1600x1200 resolution. The colors were very vibrant, there was fogging that looked very good. There was no banding, dithering, popping or cracking visible in any of the demos shown.

The next demo shown was the OpenGL standby, Quake 2. It wascranked to the maximum, 1600x1200 and was smooth. There was absolutely no cracking at all, and the textures were interestingly a bit "under detailed" when you got right up on top of the wall or a switch. It seems that ID designed Q2 textures for a lower resolution. Even in the early ICD drivers the board was using, and the underclocked TNT, it ripped through Quake 2 with ease.

Conspiracy Theory  [3:37 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme is playing white on rice with the hardware news (as always), pointing the way to an article called Hercules Embraces New 3D Technologies on Next-Generation Online describing the Hercules Thriller Conspiracy which adds Fujitsu’s Pinolite geometry and lighting processor to a Rendition V2200 chipset boosting 3D performance significantly while reducing CPU dependency. The card targets gamers with Pentium machines looking for a low cost (~$150) alternative to an immediate CPU upgrade.

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

New JailBreak  [1:55 AM EDT]
A server-only JailBreak version 2.1 is out fixing some bugs that found their way into the 2.0 release.

Front-endian  [3:37 AM EDT - Updated]
Version 2.10 of the Quick Start - Eraser Bot Wizard is out. Also, Expert Server Administrator Stuff has the Expert for QuakeWorld config-o-matic available for download.

Loony E3  [1:55 AM EDT]
E3 1998, so much to see, so many reports, and it's not done yet: The other reporter on the scene at this year's E3 under the Blue's News banner was my good friend Jason "loonyboi" Bergman, who has checked in with the first part of his voluminous E3 report covering most of the first-person shooters (Prey, Duke Forever, Trespasser, Half-Life, and Sin) with parts 2 and beyond due in the coming days.

Unofficial BattleZone FAQ  [1:55 AM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme pointed out a cool Unofficial Battlezone FAQ on the Battlezone Center on The Mission Yard.

MailBag  [1:55 AM EDT]
A new MailBag is up with some follow-up on yesterday's posts on Unreal single versus multi-player and first-person shooters in general.

Out of the Blue
Wow... more E3 news than you can shake a stick at, huh? As Unreal.org put it: "more blowed up than ever."

Monday, June 1, 1998

MacUnreal Status  [10:09 PM EDT]
Unreal Nation spotted an updated on the status of MacUnreal that's gone unnoticed for a while (by me at least) on the Westlake Interactive page:

We have received final code for Unreal, and are working hard to merge it with the curent Mac version. There were quite a few changes in the final code, so there is lots of work to do. Currently we're tentatively hoping to have the Mac version ready for ship by mid or late July.

We're still trying to add whatever cool Mac-specific features we can to Unreal, and it looks like we will have optional Text-To-Speech support, so you can have the game read chat messages, game messages, and possibly even ship logs/translator messages to you!

Editing - Q2: The Reckoning Entities  [10:09 PM EDT - Updated]
The Forge has posted an entity list and an FGD allowing WorldCraft support for editing Quake II: The Reckoning, the new mission pack from Xatrix. The Quake Workshop2 has also posted a list of all the new entities they could find and a tutorial on how to create a rotating light like those found in the mission pack.

Unreal Interview  [7:15 PM EDT]
Epic's Cliff Bleszinski is interviewed on Single Player Unreal Level Heaven talking about the "events leading up to the gold master, performance issues and what in his eyes sets Unreal apart from the competition." Saw that on Unreal.org.

Spec Ops2  [7:01 PM EDT]
This is kind of a combo want ad/announcement, as I hadn't really seen word on SpecOps2 before. I got the following from Mark Long at Zombie:

Mark Long here from Zombie in Seattle.  We just signed SPEC OPS 2 at E3.  We want to hire an amateur Quake/Unreal level designer to join the SO2 team.  Innovation, energy, and mixed combat tempos are what we like in maps.  Email your mod and tell us something about yourself.

Blood 2 @ E3  [6:54 PM EDT]
OGR has added their Blood 2 report from E3 to their encyclopedic E3 Expo '98 coverage.

Corrections to Descent 3 Interview  [6:23 PM EDT]
I got word from Outrage Entertainment's Craig Derrick, the Producer of Descent 3 to correct outdated information from the PC Gamer interview reported on earlier. Damn, guys, even if you freeze-dry those interviews, they still get stale:

Just wanted to drop a line in regards to the Raphael Hernandez interview from PC Gamer online. The interview has many inaccuracies in regards to the features in Descent 3 that I would like to clarify:

- Mr. Hernandez states in the interview that we haven't settled on outdoor environments.  We have infact decided and shown that Descent 3 WILL contain outdoor environments with seamless transitions between our internal geometry and our external terrain environments.

- Mr. Hernandez states that we will have 22 unique levels that the player will be able to come back to under different circumstances.  This was indeed an idea we were persuing for Descent 3, but have since abandoned.  Descent 3 will contain 15 mission-oriented levels and separate multiplayer levels.

I believe that this interview was taken possibly 6 months ago for the English version of PC Gamer and is way out of date.

Tom Hall Interview  [5:25 PM EDT]
GamePen opens up Tom Hall's head and takes a look at the contents in their E3.net 1998 Interview talking about ION Storm's upcoming Quake II-engine RPG Anachronox.

More on E3 Hardware  [5:25 PM EDT]
A Special E3 Hardware Report up on bootNET gives their look at the next-generation goodies from the show. Also there's show coverage on The E3 HEEBIE JEEBIES 98.

E3 Video Card Rundown  [5:08 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme pointed the way to E3 - Future 3D Video Cards Shown behind Closed Doors, cyrellis3d's rundown on the cutting edge chipsets shown off in the steamy backrooms of E3. Th   report gives the lowdown on the Matrox G200, the S3 Savage 3D, the NEC PVRSG, the Quantum 3D AGP Voodoo2 card, and they even dance through the raindrops of their NDA to offer some of the first speculation I've seen about the Voodoo Banshee. Here's a quote:

"We can say this: 3Dfx is a very strong company that has a great pedigree for high performance 3D solutions. However, The Voodoo2 will probably remain the high-end choice for 3D gaming fans. The Banshee will most likely appeal greatly to its possible target buyer, that is the entry-level/medium range gamer who considers cost to be as big of a concern as performance. (Don't you just love all of the "possible" and "most likely" comments I had to insert above to keep this baby Johnny Cochran free?)."

Descent 3 Interview  [4:48 PM EDT]
PC Gamer Online's Descent 3 Interview talks to Raphael Hernandez, associate producer on Descent 3, who says they are attempting to move the series away from the "tunnel crawler" syndrome:

"...you can find areas that are absolutely huge like a huge expansive cavern that you almost wouldn't see the walls at the other end. And then just populate that with a lot of geometry. The engine we have for Descent 3 allows for us to have a lot more versatility. Where before we used a segment-based engine, that pretty much limited what you could do with an actual room or chamber."

"Outdoor environments? We've talked about that, but it's still something we haven't settled on. To have an outdoor environment is really determined by the amount of time we have, and if we had two more years, then we'd have outdoor environments, and you'd get to leave the planet, and we could do all kinds of things. But we don't have two years. Our big emphasis is to expand out our environments as far as we can."

Redline Screenshots  [2:26 PM EDT]
OGR's extensive E3 Coverage (planned to continue right into next year's show) is now offering some Redline Screenshots from the show, showing off Accolades upcoming 3D action game. Shoot some, drive some, drive and shoot some...life is good.

QuakeCon Map Contest  [2:19 PM EDT]
Rules for this year's highly expanded QCon Level and Skin Design Contest have been posted.

AMD K6-2 in Quake II  [2:19 PM EDT]
AMD at E3 Impressions looks at the new K6 chip from a Quake players perspective giving Voodoo 2 benchmarks (here's a TechWeb artcle on the K6-2). Check these out:

Quake2 demo1
1024x768 SLI ~70 fps.
640x480 SLI ~84 fps.
800x600 (SLI Disabled) ~74 fps.
640x480 (SLI Disabled) ~80 fps.

Multi-Texturing in Unreal  [2:19 PM EDT]
3Fingers has dug up some of his specialty, real Voodoo doodoo, giving the lowdown a potential Voodoo2 performance improvements Unreal could see in the future when multi-texturing support is completed:

3DFX is working with Unreal to implement multi-texturing support
(currently Unreal does not support multi-texture units). When this takes place we should see an increase in Unreal's performance on our Voodoo II's.

I was told by "da man" at 3DFX, we should see a 10-20% increase in Unreal's performance when multi-texturing support with Unreal is implemented. But if you are CPU limited then you would see little or no increase.

Matrox's Voodoo2 Showdown  [2:19 PM EDT]
There are some benchmarks on the Matrox Users Resource Centre comparing the Matrox G200's 3D performance to a Voodoo2 playing Motorhead. Two interesting things come out: how close the two cards are in D3D performance (at least according to their findings), and how much better the Glide version of the game works than either card under D3D. Thanks Billy "Pina Colada" Wilson (Voodoo Extreme).

Eek! Janitor Bob Returns!  [2:19 PM EDT]
He's ba-ack... here's Janitor Bob's revived .plan. 'nuff said.

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

ST Weapons Factory  [2:19 PM EDT]
Final beta version 2.2 of ST Weapons Factory is out marking the completion of the merger between the WF and ST mods. The new release offers three new player classes (Engineer, Nurse and Arsonist), 15 New weapons, and much more.

The War Mod  [8:44 AM EDT]
Beta 0.9 of the WAR Mod is out offering a TeamFortress-like gameplay for Quake II.

Reclamation & HitSquad for Q2  [2:41 AM EDT]
Freelance Reality is a page with two new Quake II mods: Reclamation 1.0, described as a CTF-like teamplay mod with a focus on controlling territory, and HitSquad 1.0, "a deathmatch mod in which your goal is to be the first to frag each and every player in the game."

Merced Delay  [10:26 AM EDT]
Here are some articles discussing the implications of the recently announced delay of Intel's next-generation CPU, Merced, until mid-2000: TechWeb's, News.Com's, and bootNET's. Here's another press release where Intel head honcho Craig Barrett says "the chip giant is disappointed with the six-month delay of its next generation processor, code-named Merced, but said the chip is still a 'real winner.'"

Going Postal on Video Game Violence  [9:58 AM EDT]
Computer game industry defends violent games is an article out of E3 on ZDNet that talks of the industry's attempts to defend itself from accusations of influencing violence in children in the wake of ever-more-frequent headlines about shootings in schoolrooms, etc. Thanks devilbunny.

MailBag  [9:58 AM EDT]
Updated the MailBag. Most of the mail I've received on Unreal is very positive, but today I post some comments on Unreal's broken Internet support, and what it may mean to the game's impact. Also, why Blue should've stayed in Hotlanta, and a flame from someone who forgot their medication.

Prey for the Dementia  [8:44 AM EDT]
The June 1st edition of the Daily Dementia is up, with our old buddy TC grabbing some mike time with Prey Project Leader 3D Realms' Paul Schuytema in a RealAudio version of the backroom showing of Prey at E3.

Hercules' Savage S3 Offering  [8:44 AM EDT]
Hercules Becomes First to Market With S3 Savage3D Technology is a press release announcing the Terminator BEAST, Hercules' planned Savage 3D offering, an 8MB AGP card planned to be available in July 1998 with an MSRP under $199. Thanks ManniX.

Still More E3  [3:13 AM EDT - Updated]
Frisky Billy Wilson's E3 write-up is up on Voodoo Extreme. He's not kidding, my boy was drinking Pina Coladas. While at VE, I see that OGR is adding to their E3 goodie pile. Here's some of what they've added: Sin screenshots, Interstate '82, some Klingon Honor Guard screenshots. also, Scott Miller is justifiably pleased at 3D Realms' showing at E3 in his .plan update.

More Fame to be Won as a Cyberathlete  [2:41 AM EDT]
Prophet sends word that the Cyberathlete Professional League has announced that the second place winner of the CPL's official one-on-one Quake competition at the CPL Tournament at QuakeCon (Dallas, TX  July 23-26) will receive a sponsorship deal from ACT LABS that will include a pictorial feature in an upcoming ad and $1000 cash. The CPL has previously announced that among the prizes for the first place winner will be an endorsement deal with Babbage’s Etc. and $2000.

Unreal Wingman Warrior Fix  [2:41 AM EDT]
ASLAN sent along the following, as folks are having difficulty getting the spinner dealies on the Wingman Warrior joystick to work in Unreal, and this apparently does the trick:

Go to Options\Advanced options\Advanced\Raw key bindings and scroll down to "JoyR" and change it to "Axis aturn speed=5.9"

Effectively it's the same as for the Assasin 3D which uses "JoyU"

Out of the Blue
Oooops daylight running on and nary a peep from me down here... I've got it, here's where to move the anniversary story: Someone wrote in pointing out that this is the second anniversary of Blue's News. This is not exactly true, the June 1 date is when the counter was installed, the site actually started a month or two before that (as a nothing Quake page), and only began posting news sometime mid-to-late June 1996. Bur what the heck, I guess that makes it as close as any date you could pick, so belly up to the bar, the champagne's on me! smiley3.gif (948 bytes)

Sunday, May 31, 1998     Blue's E3 Ramblings

Unreal Walkthroughs  [8:54 PM EDT]
There are walkthroughs for eight levels of Unreal up on the Spire if you're stuck. Saw that on Unreal Nation who saw it on the revived Unreal News - Australia.

New PingTool - Unreal Support  [8:43 PM EDT]
Version 2.1 Beta 3 of PingTool is out on the PingTool page as a Full Installer and an Upgrade From PingTool 2.0 DLL Version. The new release adds Unreal support (described on this page) to this server browser that can also help find Quake, QuakeWorld and Hexen II servers. Thanks TeleFragged. Here are local copies of the Full Installer (2.6 MB) and the Upgrade (846 KB) courtesy of GamesNET's cavity-fighting FTP.

Wheel of Time Screenshots  [8:43 PM EDT]
Unreal Nation has posted three new Wheel of Time screenshots from E3, showing off more of this Unreal-engine RPG.

Nihilistic's Vampire Game  [8:22 PM EDT]
Steve "Gateway" Tietze, recently of Rogue Entertainment, updated his .plan with word on a Yahoo press release detailing the first game announced by Nihilistic (his new company, which also includes Rob Huebner of the Jedi Knight team, and is headed up by JK lead programmer Ray Gresko). The title will be a 3D role-playing vampire game currently slated for a fall 1999 release, the first in a line of computer games from Activision based on a license they acquired from White Wolf, Inc. for a role playing series that includes Vampire: The Masquerade, Vampire: The Dark Ages, and Kindred of the East, that White Wolf says is the second most played RPG ever (behind D&D if that was in doubt).

New DEMentED 2  [8:22 PM EDT]
Version 0.980 of the DEMentED 2 Quake II demo/movie editor is out fixing problems with file saving and introducing some new graphics.

New Voodoo Lights  [8:22 PM EDT]
Billy at Voodoo Extreme passed along word that version 1.1 beta 6 of the coolest screensaver I know of, Voodoo Lights, is now available. Here's a local copy (672 KB) courtesy of GamesNET's anti-bacterial FTP.

HexenWorld & Siege Installers  [3:01 PM EDT]
Phoebus has posted the full Win95/NT installers of beta 0.15 of HexenWorld and Siege (recently released as .zip files) up on Hexenworld.

bluebar.jpg (1109 bytes)
More Quake/Quake II Mods
Already updated the first batch once, time to start a new one:

New QNM  [3:01 AM EDT]
Version 1.02 of QNM, version 0.4 of Q2NM and version 0.5 of MOTD Edit are all now available on the QNM/Q2NM Homepage.

Action Quake II  [3:01 AM EDT]
Version 0.92a of Action Quake II is out fixing some compatibility problems with Quake II 3.15.

Quake III Sound  [2:42 PM EDT]
Waves of Pleasure is an article up on PlanetQuake by Flamethrower that rants (albeit in a subdued fashion for the most prodigious fire starter since Prodigy) about sound quality in games and from sound cards in general, quoting folks in the biz along the way, and offering the following on what we may expect from Quake 3 in the response he received from id's Kevin Cloud:

"For the sound on this game, the only thing that is certain is ditching CD audio in favor of streamed wav files. I expect that we will try voice over network (NOT over modems) capability. We might have 3D audio support, but that is far from certain. It just depends on what other technical road blocks we run into along the way. And finally, John wants to experiment with sound radiosity but that will not make it into this game."

E3 Coverage  [2:42 PM EDT - Updated]

Blue on E3  [1:14 PM EDT]
Here's my write-up of what I saw at E3.

Quake II Dynamic Downloading  [10:12 AM EDT]
Zoid updated his.plan with some more on the dynamic downloading feature of Quake II 3.15 with some helpful observations for Mod authors on why certain items in a mod may not download to the users properly, and how to work around it (not quoted), and this quote on Dynamic Downloading that applies to users:

Quick note: If you get "File not found" during the download process on a server, that means the server doesn't have the file, so it can't download it to you. Customs player models and skins have to be on the server in order for you to download them. The message will say, "Server does not have this file." in the 3.16 version. If you have a nifty model, talk to the server operator who runs favorite server so he can put it online so people can download it.

... [snip] ...

3.16 is coming along nicely and should be ready soon.

/// Zoid.

Half-Life Multiplayer  [10:12 AM EDT]
This press release from the other day gives a load of skinny on the special features Valve is adding to Half-Life to enhance the multiplayer experience. Thanks Mike Wallace (say hi to Andy Rooney for me). Also, OGR has posted the HL screenshots released at E3.

H3D Sale  [10:12 AM EDT]
H3D Entertainment is holding an E3 sale (offer good through June 7) that give $20.00 off on their cool 3D stereoscopic gaming glasses.

Intellimouse Pro  [10:12 AM EDT]
Microsoft announces the IntelliMouse Pro (thanks Tony on Yahoo), which is apparently just a reshaped Intellimouse, rather than adding more doohickeys, or even a whatchamacallit. Car companies used to do that to spur new car sales every year (next year's mouse will have fins and square tail lights). Also from the House that Bill built, is Microsoft's New Games at E3 and a not very well explained promise that Gamers Will Score with Windows 98.

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

Viking Mod  [10:12 AM EDT - Updated]
Version 0.99a of the Viking Mod is now out, which includes version 0.99.01 of the Viking Control Panel.

New Eraser  [2:52 AM EDT]
Version 0.991 of the Eraser Bot is up on the Impact Development Team website fixing a couple of bugs. It is noted there that the new Eraser will work fine with Quake II 3.15 (I believe most every mod will), but that it does not work, at least for the moment, with the newly released Xatrix Mission Pack, Quake II: The Reckoning. There is also an Eraser Bot feature on Comm Center that features and interview with Ridah.

JailBreak 2.0  [2:52 AM EDT]
After a non-release at the IRC release party the other day, Quake II JaiBreak version 2.0 is now out.

New ClanRing Mod  [2:52 AM EDT]
Version 4.01 of the ClanRing CRMod++, the hugely popular Quake competition mod is out. Here's what's new:

New SuperHeroes II  [2:52 AM EDT]
Beta 11 of Quake II SuperHeroes is out with mostly bug-fixes and a few small power tweaks.

New Freeze Tag  [2:52 AM EDT]
Version 1.5 of Freeze Tag for Quake II is out offering a new item (refrigerant), and server switchable VWep support (dunno how that works with 3.15's built in VWep support).

Front-Ends  [2:52 AM EDT]
Readysetgo: Eraser Frontend 3.2; version 1.5 of Tectonic; Erased a brand-new Eraser launcher, and version 1.53 of Bot Johnny.

Unreal Mod & Map  [2:52 AM EDT]
The first Unreal mod I'm aware of is out, OSPDoubleMag by GreenMarine allows you to double your firepower with an AutoMag pistol in each hand, John Woo style. The mod is available on Unreal Level Design and Portal. Also the first DM map I've seen is out, like many of the first Quake II maps, this one is an adaptation of an existing level (call it an homage). Here's Zorkwiz's version of E1M7 for Unreal (143 KB), just unzip it in your maps directory, and you're good to go.

Quake II: The Reckoning DM Server  [2:52 AM EDT]
PC Gamer Online has a Quake II: The Reckoning deathmatch server up at quake2.pcgamer.com:27917. Also, in a semi-related bit of lunacy, they have also released the Coconut Monkey Plug-in Player Model.

Hook on St. John on OpenGL  [2:52 AM EDT]
Brian Hook made a .plan update taking Alex St. John to task for statements in his bootNet Ask Alex column about OpenGL.

Quake Benchmarks  [2:52 AM EDT]
There's a new Quake Benchmarks Site over on the The Fast Graphics Site.

Solaris Quake Porting  [2:52 AM EDT]
Solar Eclipse, dedicated to Solaris Quake is offering to port mods to the two Solaris platforms, SPARC and the newly 'supported' x86 for interested mod authors.

TeamFortress School  [2:52 AM EDT]
School of TeamFortress offers lessons in TF to help learn some of this detailed Quake teamplay mods intricacies.

Shogo-Rama  [2:52 AM EDT]
Loads of new Shogo stuff coming out of Shogo Mobile Armor Division high command: a new weekly screenshot, a kickass (their word, but it suits it) Shogo painting. a one minute music track teaser (both .mp3 and RealAudio), and a pair of interviews, one an interview with Craig, John and Mike, and one where you can listen to Jason Hall. There's also a new weekly screenshot up in the Blood 2 The Chosen page.

Battle of the Game Engines  [2:52 AM EDT]
Technology News from Wired News has a Battle of the Game Engines article that quotes ION's John Romero and Shiny's Dave Perry. Thanks ScrewTape.

Interstate '82 Interview  [2:52 AM EDT]
An Interstate 82 Interview on PCGamer talks to Zach Norman director if Interstate '82. Thanks Todd Sorg.

New Viper 330 BIOS  [2:52 AM EDT]
New version 1.62 BIOS for the Viper 330 are up on Diamond Multimedia's Viper V330 Drivers page.

OT on the UberProgrammers  [1:14 AM EDT]
There's also a post on the Ritual Outpost (Gilligan's Island?) from onethumb talking about the departures of Gary McTaggart and Charlie Brown talking of hope that the pair of programmers may continue to work with Ritual in some way (thanks Ritualistic):

Yes, the recent rumors of Gary McTaggart and Charlie Brown planning a departure from Ritual are true. As for the question of our future working relationship; current ideas are still somewhat up in the air and both parties are moving together in a *very* positive direction to create a mutually beneficial situation. Ritual Entertaiment still has every intention of keeping the UberEngine(tm) much ALIVE and hope Gary and Charlie will be there to help bottlefeed it to maturity. Like everyone here at Ritual, Gary McTaggart and Charlie Brown are extremely talented and have been a valued part of the Ritual tribe from the start. Dispostions are very friendly and we continue to hold them in the highest possible regards.

AMD K6-2 Stuff  [1:14 AM EDT]
bootNet's AMD's K6-2 announcement (saw on VE) has specs on K6's new processor which sounds like a real contender. AMD's K6-2 - A New Star in the 3D Arena is a new article up on Tom's Hardware Guide that speaks highly about it as well. I got to spend some time with Tom at E3, and his enthusiasm for the K6-2 turned it into the topic of conversation several times. Brian hook made a .plan update showing a letter he wrote clarifying to Tom that there is no "generally available" K6-enhanced version of Quake II:

The following is a copy of a short e-mail I sent to Tom of Tom's Hardware Page to remove some confusion that arose as a result of his article on the AMD K6 3DNow! technology and Quake 2:

"To clarify, id software did not do any AMD-specific optimization on Quake 2. AMD has worked in conjunction with 3Dfx to optimize Glide and 3DFXGL.DLL (the 3Dfx GL minidriver). There are no generally available versions of  QUAKE2.EXE or REF_GL.DLL optimized for 3DNow!"

Sin AVI  [1:14 AM EDT]
The Sin AVI released at E3 (11.5 MB) is posted over at over at Ritualistic, it's big but pretty spiffy. Hexagon over at Ritualistic has been keeping up with the doings all alone while Lithium and Millenium were out having a fine old time with me and all the boys from Voodoo Extreme ('cept Sharky who was seasick), posting word of a Next-Generation Sin preview, and an OGR report from E3 on Sin, as well.

DNF Preview  [1:14 AM EDT]
OGR's Duke Nukem Forever report from E3 is up, and Lithium's DNF report is up on 3D Portal. Come get some...

Prey Screenshots  [1:14 AM EDT]
Also on 3DPortal are 10 new Prey screenshots released at E3.

crash's Unreal Review  [1:14 AM EDT]
crash's Unreal Review is up on crash's Quake II pages with his unflinching look at Epic's shooter, looking at the games good points while cooking up an extensive list of complaints. In an ironic bit of timing Matt Sefton, noted Quake/Quake II level reviewer in his own right, has opened Single Player Unreal Level Heaven following in the traditions of his SPQ Level Heaven and SPQ2 Level Heaven (obviously there are no ms their yet).

StarSiege Tribes  [1:14 AM EDT]
I saw on Voodoo Extreme that my buddy Billy "girly cocktail" Wilson spotted a StarSiege Tribes first look over on OGR, giving an impression of this first person online combat game.

Out of the Blue
I think I'm pretty caught up: Thanks to most all of you for your understanding about the lack of updates during E3 (those who sent the hate mail are obviously excluded). Also, thanks for the kind letters of appreciation to Mrs Blue for posting her clutch updates as her wacky webmaster husband dictated long-distance: it was a pretty funny circumstance, but it worked out pretty well considering.

Saturday, May 30, 1998

Quake II 3.16 as Soon as Tomorrow  [11:49 PM EDT]
Zoid updated his .plan to describe his work on Quake II 3.16, going into detail on why a new version so soon:

I'm working on a Quake2 3.16 version that addresses the issues that showed up in 3.15. There's good news and bad news.

I'll start with the bad news:

There is a server bug in the 3.15 code in respect to the packet checksumming between server and client. Many people have experienced it by connecting to a server and being 'stuck' and can't move. This is especially bad when connecting to servers from different platforms (win32 vs linux at this time).

Because of this bug, 3.16 WILL NOT BE COMPATIBLE WITH 3.15 SERVERS.

I sincerely apologize about this, but it was unavoidable. I endeavour to make sure bugs like this never happen, but sometimes it slips through the cracks.  The bug is randomly hit (due to its nature) so it didn't turn up in testing.

The good news:

Because I'm replacing the checksum code, I've switched to a much less CPU  intensive algorithm. Dedicated servers should use about 20% less CPU with ten clients. This will allow more players on a server in the future.

3.16 also includes a new setup menu in the Multiplayer/Player Setup that allows the user to customize what he wants to download. You can set it to just download maps and not player models for example. This is nice in that you don't spend time downloading player models and skins that you don't want or need.

The availability of the gl_modulate command in multiplayer has been restored.

Some notes about 3.15/3.16:

- Pings look higher, but the actually aren't. 3.14 and earlier versions always undervalued pings. 3.15 calculates 'correct' ping times and includes the full round trip time and your frame time in milleseconds. 3.15 pings are much, much more accurate.

- Hentai has put out a new version of the VWep pack specific for 3.15 that touches up some animations, etc. It's available at http://www.telefragged.com/vwep A note to mod authors: specially handling of Vwep is now built into the EXE for 3.15/3.16 and requires a small game.dll change for full usage. Once I get 3.16 out the door, I'll be releasing the specs and changes to the game.dll source. I moved it into the EXE so that special handling for models without vwep automatically use the weapon.md2 and you don't get ugly triangle diapers
on players.

3.16 is only a new quake2.exe. The same game.dll and other files are unchanged from 3.15. This means that 3.15 save games will not be affected. The 3.15 checksum bug is the major reason why I don't have other platforms (Solaris Sparc, Linux Alpha and Solaris x86) out yet.

Again, I'd like to apologize with the forced upgrade 3.16 will cause. I'll try to make sure it doesn't happen again. I'll be working very hard on getting 3.16 out tomorrow for ALL platforms.

/// Zoid.

Quake II: The Reckoning Available  [11:49 PM EDT]
The first official Quake II mission pack, Quake II, the Reckoning, is now available.

New VWep  [11:49 PM EDT]
A new version of VWep (2.2 MB) to go along with the native VWep server support in the new Quake 3.15 is up on the El Niño Quake Extensions page. Here's a local copy courtesy of GamesNET's fabulous odor-controlled FTP. Thanks The News Hive.

Descent Freespace Silvered  [11:49 PM EDT]
Or is that gold? Anyway, silvered is the word Adam from Volition used when he let me know that Descent: Freespace is going off to duplication and should be in stores next week.

Out of the Blue  [11:02 PM EDT]
Back in the Blue Tower after the wrap-up in Hotlanta, just plowing through a buttload of email: Hopefully catching up is possible without too much pain, I'll try and get up to speed as soon as possible.

Previous Week   News Archive   Current News   Next Week
Quake, Quake II and the stylized "Q" are trademarks of id Software, used with their kind permission
All trademarks used are properties of their respective owners
All rights reserved. Copyright © 1998 by Stephen Heaslip