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Friday, December 5, 1997

Top 25 Quake Mods/Programs
MeccaWorld has posted a list of what they feel are the Top 25 Quake Modifications and Programs of all time, with #1 being GameSpy. Thanks Prophet.

MicroProse-GT Interactive Merger Falls Through
The proposed merger between MicroProse and GT Interactive will not take place, as detailed in this Next-Generation article that contains the statement released today by MicroProse. According to the story: "If the merger had gone through, GT Interactive would have become the second largest US software company behind Electronic Arts." As cobi points out that seems to underestimate Microsoft (I think they probably meant game software companies).

X-Men TC Hits Shelves
X-Men Ravages of the Apocalypse, the TC that mutates Quake into a battle against the X-Men, has started appearing in stores. H2H tells me there will be a patch available very soon to replace the Quake sounds that some of the X-Men make.

New Righteous 3D Drivers
Orchid has released Version 3.0 of the drivers for the  Righteous 3D (2.8 MB). Saw that on Voodoo Extreme.

Mailing List Mania
PlanetQuake has fired off a whole bunch of mailing lists to help pave the way for Quake II. You can subscribe to any of the following lists on this page,

The SiN Files: Volume III
The SiN Files: Volume III, have been posted on Games.Net. This is the Levelord's third monthly installment in an ongoing effort to give a look behind the scenes at the production of Ritual's upcoming Quake-Engine game, this month featuring some thoughts from artist Joel Thomas. Saw that on  Voodoo Extreme.

Quake II Contest
The guys over at Stomped have snagged a couple of copies of Quake II that they're going to give away to a pair of lucky winners who can answer three Quake II trivia questions on their Quake II   Contest page. Deadline for entries is now December 7 (a change from the original deadline). Good luck.

New Jedi Patch Commander
Michael B. Klein has released the JK Patch Commander Version 2.0 (230 KB) which fixes bugs and adds some options. The included read me describes how you can use Patch Commander to easily use custom patches with Jedi Knight. Thanks to that Force-lovin' Aristotle over at JediKnight.Net.

Interviews (Updated)

New CTF
Though Zoid expected to release no more versions of CTF, a couple of bugs serious enough to warrant an update popped up, so a Threewave CTF 4.21 update (354 KB, sorry about the bad zip originally, thanks Origen =Aster= for the heads up) has been released (required for the server end only). Here's this scoop straight from Threewave (thanks Dakota):

Two serious bugs have appeared recently. One in the NetQuake version to do with server logging and one in the QuakeWorld version to do with the grapple. I'm releasing a 4.21 as a very minor patch to the 4.2 code that addresses these two problems. I had no plans to make another release, but these two bugs are serious enough to warrant it. Here is the 4.21 archive (it only contains the new progs, no docs). The 3wave42.zip archive contains full documentation.

.plans

P/Reviews

etc.
A new (really this time) edition of Dear Mynx is online. Thanks SkylarP ... Thanks Jesse Blacklow for sending along word that he was the seven millionth visitor recorded by the counter here. I want to thank everyone who wrote in with kind words on the occasion, and everyone who visits this site as well, the support for Blue's News that comes from the community is overwhelming. I want to extend a special thanks to all who take the time to send in news bits, and I'd also like to take a moment to publicly thank Peter Gransee at GlobalCenter for his yeoman effort at providing a fast reliable home for Blue's News (this man got out of bed and jumped in his car to go to work and fix the server last night when the techies weren't able to get to it) ...

Thursday, December 4, 1997

Omicron Bot Released
Mr. Elusive's Omicron Bot has been released on this page on Ramshackle. This highly touted AI opponent is supposed to be the first bot not derived from Reaper source to surpass the Reaper in game skills. There is no local copy because Ramshackle has arranged to be the exclusive host of the bot's downloads for a week.

Gamer's Extreme
Gamer's Extreme, the extremely game oriented website has re-opened after a hiatus and redesign. This site is run by Thresh and his buddies, and on Thresh's Fronline column is more on the Forbes column that appeared in his name.    

QuakeCast
Tonight QuakeCast we will be talking to Avatar, author of Target Quake. QuakeCast can be seen and heard live every Thursday at 8:30 PM Eastern time. RealPlayer required.

Thresh on the Forbes Article
I just received an email from Thresh, who wants it to be know n that he did not actually write the article attributed to him in Forbes ASAP:

I just wanted to make it EXTREMELY clear I ***DID NOT*** write the Forbes article. I had one interview with a Forbes journalist months ago and did not say anything remotely close to how it was phrased in the article. They also made it appear as if *I* wrote the article, which I did not. I was severely misquoted, and everything I actually said was taken out of context. I sent an email to and will be calling Forbes to have that article retracted with an apology. I have to question Forbes' motives in making it appear as if I wrote the article and giving me the by-line and writing it in the first-person. Not only were they deceptive in who they gave credit to in the article, but they also filled the article with misconceptions, misquotations, and outright lies.

An example of how they misquoted me:
(Again, this interview was done in person, I never wrote one single word for Forbes)
Journalist: What do you think makes you a good player?
Me: Well, I usually have a pretty good idea where my opponent is most of the time. I think this definitely gives me an edge over people I play.

That somehow was manipulated into..
Article: But me, you know, I have an inhuman ability to know my opponent's next move. I always know where my opponent is. And there's no way to really outsmart that ability.

The interview was recorded on a tape recorder, and I hope the journalist whom I did the interview with and who wrote this article will post the actual interview as a .wav file on their website to clear up this outrageous situation.

Dennis aka Thresh

Quake II Direct Orders
Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan announcing that Quake II pre-orders are now being accepted:

We are now taking pre-orders via 1-800-IDGAMES. We'll have a banner/page up on the id website soon, but I wanted to go ahead and make the announcement here. The cost is $49 plus shipping ($5 for domestic packages for normal delivery). So if you want your own little copy of Quake II delivered to your doorstep (i.e., no fighting Christmas crowds, waiting in line at EB, or whatever else bugs you about retail) give our operators a call. We'll ship the game as soon as we get our copies, which will probably be Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Severed II
Yes it's the return of the patch that lets you take out your opponent limb from limb. Severed II (2.8 MB) from the Lone Gunmen, a sequel to Severed, goes a lot further than the original into the realm of gore, adding a chainsaw and a suicide drug dart gun (described as a Top Secret CIA weapon Prototype), as well as more blood, limbs, gibs, and hopping around on one leg ("I can still bite you!") than ever before.

Interviews (Updated)

Rendition Forums
To better support their products and communicate with their customers, Rendition has opened several online forums, which can be accessed through this page. The forums cover Rendition Announcements (read only), Advocacy, Rendition Ready Games, Suggestions, Support, the V1000 chipset, and the V2000 chipset. Thanks Prophet.

New RIVA 128 OpenGL ICD
A new alpha OpenGL ICD for RIVA 128-based video cards has been released (not a mini-driver, as I originally wrote, thanks Bill Lachance). Here's the whole set-up (1.0 MB) if you don't have the previous version, and the OpenGL dll (463 KB) if you do. As before, this is an alpha, and will prevent some special features of your card (TV in/out, etc.) from functioning properly until you re-install your manufacturer's drivers. The new drivers will now also work with all OpenGL applications, not just GLQuake, and offers visual improvements over its predecessor, rather than speed. Thanks Zone 128 (hotbed of RIVA 128 mania that it is). If you've seen notes about the original versions of these drivers being corrupted, the files posted here were the fixed ones from the start, so there's no need to re-download them if you got them here).

New PingTool
Version 1.5 of PingTool, a Quake server browser program, has been released on the PingTool page. The new release features buddy lists to show if your friends are playing when you ping servers.

New Stingray Drivers
Version 1.19 of the drivers the Hercules Stingray 128/3D have been released on Hercules' FTP Site. Direct X 5.0 required. Thanks Voodoo Extreme.

New Jedi Jetpack
Silencer has updated his Jedi Knight Jet Pack (16 KB) to place an actual "Boba Fett" jetpack on Kyle, and now the pack emits fire instead of smoke. Thanks JediKnight.Net.

AnachroChat
Word on a weekly IRC session with ION Storm's Anachronox Team comes from QuestGate:

QuestGate, Anachronews, 3D Alpha, and ION Storm will be hosting a weekly Anachronox chat session with the developers of Anachronox on Fridays, from 4:00 - 5:00 PM CST (5:00 - 6:00 PM EST).

It will be on GamesLink IRC in #questgate. If you do not know a GamesLink server, you can use gameslink.questgate.net.

The chat will have Tom Hall, Larry Herring, and Rich Carlson, and any other team members who want to join in.

Obsidian / Obsidian II
There are some benchmarks on Voodoo Extreme of Quantum 3D's screaming Obsidian 100SB 4440. There is also a blurb on Next-Generation talking about Obsidian 2 using the Voodoo 2 chipset.

RoadWar
In the most stirring event of its type since Forrest Gump ran across the USA, comes the LAN Party Tour. Check this out:

Western United States LAN party tour... Four Quake players from Las Vegas, Nevada are going on a 3300 mile road trip starting on December 5th-15th. We are going city to city looking for commercial gaming rooms and LAN parties. Our route is Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Portland to Seattle to Vancouver to Boise to Salt Lake City. If you live in/near any of these cities please e-mail us at roadwar@slipgate.com with information about your LAN party or any gaming rooms in your town. We play DM/CTF and will be supplying our own computers...invite us over if you can spare the giblets.

P/Reviews

.plans

etc.
MeccaWorld is following up their top 100 Quake levels article with a top 25 Quake mods listing to be posted tomorrow, and as a preview, they have posted the favorite mods submitted by the game designers and the like ... There's an account of some of the action with the id guys visiting Australia on MultiPlay and more on playNOW! ... wiseguy-311 analyzes the good and bad points of the CyberAthletes in this article ... loonyboi has an article up on PlanetQuake called Looking Ahead to Trinity that does just that (and Carmack just said "don't start getting all worked up over it") ...

Wednesday, December 3, 1997

Quake II in the UK December 12
id CEO Todd Hollenshead updated his .plan to announce that the expected shelf date for Quake II in the UK is December 12.

More release date info:

Activision anticipates being on the shelves in the UK around December 12. There aren't any other specific dates (apart from North America) at this point other than worldwide distribution should occur by mid-December.

Also, thanks to all those who have sent notes congratulating us on the release and wishing us well. We appreciate the sentiment.

Zoid versus Cheating
Zoid updated his .plan with word that he and John Carmack are looking into fighting cheats, and requests any information that can help:

As I mentioned in an earlier plan update, cheating is still a problem in the current Quake community. John Carmack and I want to take a look at what we can do to curb some of the easier methods people are using to cheat.

I'd like to request that people email me with known ways of cheating in Quake and QuakeWorld. Clever hacks, pak file changes, etc. Tell me how proxies can give you that extra edge. I'd like to collect this information and work out ways with John in preventing or making it extremely hard to do.

Cheating is an unfortunate reality, but if something simple can be done to lessen its impact, we'd like to do it.

Quake II Direct Ordering
I asked id Software CEO Todd Hollenshead if Quake II would be available directly from id, and if so, would they have it before, after, or simultaneous with the in-store release. Here was his reply:

We'll be selling through 1-800-IDGAMES, as always. We expect to begin taking preorders any day now (as soon as we can get the web banner up). We actually line up just like the retailers for product, so we won't have it any sooner than you can get it in stores, but you will get it mailed directly to you.

The Return of the (missing) Missing Quake II Items
I also asked Todd Hollenshead if it was okay to post the images mentioned yesterday that Joost Schuur (Slipgate Central) found on id's Website, and he said that is was (thanks Todd). Since it turns out these will not be included in the game, for now file them alongside the Dragon under Quake/Quake II Items: The Lost Episodes:

cloaker.gif (3148 bytes) goggles.gif (2771 bytes) invisibility.gif (4118 bytes) scope.gif (2795 bytes) sights.gif (2795 bytes)
Cloaker Goggles Invisibility Scope Sights

Eye on the Storm
The December installment of the monthly ION Storm Newsletter has been posted on the ION Storm webisite. In this (as always) massive newsletter is an update on all the latest ION Storm news, a look at Daikatana web sites, an update ION Storm’s preparations for moving to the top of the Texas Commerce Tower, the latest installment of Inside Tom’s Brain, a new Brainstorm Trivia Question, conversations with Daikatana screenwriter Christian Divine and ION Storm’s newly appointed Director of Advanced Technology, Corrinne Yu, Todd Porter's opinions on AGP and Cable Modems, Doug "Fresh" Myres discussing his massive video archiving project , and in the Writers on the Storm section, new poetry by artist Andrew Collins and creative coordinator Mindy Eickhoff.

No Gloom and Doom for GLDoom

Logitech Doohicky Lives!
Word on Buzzkill's Quake Page is that the extended driver that enables the Microsoft Intellimouse wheel doohicky to work in Quake will also allow you to utilize the wheel doohicky on the new Logitech Mouseman+ in Quake as well. Buzzkill has also received an unconfirmed report that it will also work on a Pilotmouse+, perhaps making it the Universal Doohicky Driver (UDD).

MacQuake Tidbits

JediKnight Colormap Editor
DarkJedi.com has released an editor for Jedi Knight color map files (124 KB). Thanks JediKnight.Net.

Aliens Online Online
The Aliens Online site is online, allowing you to go online as a Marine or an Alien. The game is $9.95 a month, but the software is free (but can only be played... online). Thanks Montag.

Interviews

.plans

P/Reviews

Competitions

Mailbag
After a bit of a Hiatus, the MailBag returns with a double rant and a conspiracy theory.

etc.
There's an article by Thresh talking about his deathmatch style/skill on Forbes ASAP. Thanks fido7  ... Malicious is a new site dedicated to Malice for Quake. Thanks Prophet ... TF Station Express is designed as a resource for newbie TeamFortress players ... GareBear's Cyber-Cafe is a new all purpose gaming site ... I want to thank Dweomer (QuakeFinger, PlanetQuake) for working on the script for this news page to add error handling, so a failed upload of the finger information no longer bombs the page ...

Tuesday, December 2, 1997

Quake II WorldWide: TBD
id CEO Todd Hollenshead made a .plan update saying that while December 9 is the projected date for Quake II to hit shelves in North America, there was no estimated date for international availability yet:

ATTENTION: Official Release Date Info!

I just spoke with Activision and the current projection is that Quake II will be at a retailer near you (if you live in the U.S. or Canada) by Tuesday the 9th. I'm still waiting on release dates outside of North America but those should be forthcoming.

Jedi Knight Expansion Pack
An article in PC Gamer details LucasArts' plans to release an expansion pack for Jedi Knight called Mysteries of the Sith. The pack will feature 14 new single player, and 15 new multi-player levels, new weapons, twenty new monsters, and brand new force powers. According to the article, "Mysteries of the Sith will be available this winter, most likely after Christmas and in January. Full details and screen shots will be unveiled later this week or early next week." Thanks Valley of the Jedi and JediKnight.Net.

Quake II December 9
Kevin Kraff from Activision sent along a few banners and a button heralding Quake II's in store date as December 9. Here's one at 120x240, one at  234x60, and one at 468x60:

q2_button.gif (425 bytes)

"Hidden" Quake II Powerups
Ooops, guess these should't have gone up, sorry, pulled 'em.

New Quake II Music Sample
On the newly redesigned Sonic Mayhem website (you should check out the great job |2| did), is a new Quake II sample music track (873 KB) in .mp3 format. Thanks CrusadeR. Here's what is posted along with the clip:

We produced a total of 15 tracks for Quake2. One thing that id requested before we started the production, was that the music should have a "Doom" feel to it...just listen to the original doom music and imagine real drums and heavy guitars.

We mixed these elements with some sonic mayhem flavor and came up with a soundtrack that will set new standards in terms of production and quality.

Interviews (Updated)

John Carmack on Doom Source, id's Quake Editor
John Carmack made another hefty .plan update covering a few bases: the still imminent release of the Doom source (which looks like it will be soundless), the planned release of id's unsupported, and probably undocumented Quake editor, complaints about the Quake II release not having people's favorite features, and John Carmack impersonators:

A couple things I forgot to mention:

DOOM source. Still planned to be released Real Soon Now, but there is some work that needs to be done on it first to remove the sound engine, which was written by someone else.

Our Quake editor. It will be released with the tools, but it really isn't going to be all that usefull to many people. Most people will be better off with one of the actively supported editors designed for normal machines.

There is no documentation (Steve Tietze at Rogue has talked about writing something, though). It is designed to run at 1280*1024 resolution on a fast, fully-compliant OpenGL driver. It was designed for high-end boards like intergraph realizm, 3DPro, and Glint boards, but it also runs ok on 8 mb consumer boards like the permedia II and rendition V2200. It will NOT work with voodoo or powerVR. It is unlikely to work with voodoo rush, because of framebuffer size limits, but it might work at a low screen resolution. It might be workable on RIVA cards if they do some fancy work disposing buffers between window renderings (they are a 4mb card, but the textures can stay in AGP memory, so it will almost be enough). I'll work with them if they want to give it a try.

Right now, only 3Dlabs has a full opengl driver on win-95 (and it is a little flaky). All the other cards would require you to run NT. Over the next several months, most of the major vendors should be releasing full OpenGL drivers that work in '95, but there are no firm release dates.

A comment to the people complaining about the release not having Their-Favorite-Feature:

A software project is never, ever completely finished. If you wait until EVERYTHING is done, you won't ship at all.

Would it have been the right thing to delay releasing Quake 1 until I had written the glquake code and the QuakeWorld code? Or we had gotten Paul to build us all new models? Or we had made all new maps that hang together thematically?

If we had, we would be releasing Quake right about now. It would be a much better game (it would be Quake 2), but all of the enjoyment that everyone has gotten from Quake would have been lost. It would have been the wrong decision.

Quake 2 is great, and it will get better yet after its release.

A reminder about "John Carmacks":

Anyone claiming to be me on IRC is lying. I have never been on IRC, and if I ever choose to, I will mention it here first.

If you get an unsolicited email from "John Carmack", the odds are high that it was spoofed. Every couple days, I get a mail bounce from someone who messed up on a spoofed mail, and I often get confused responses from people that I have never mailed.

Target Quake
Avatar has released his new Quake patch called Target Quake (2.8 MB). This has me blown away, it's another conversion of quake into a 2D format, this time as a side-scrolling shoot-em up (like Mario meets Defender). It's all done with a cinematic style and a strong sense of humor (I laughed from the start as my comrades shouted encouraging remarks to me by name as I began my mission). I highly recommend checking this one out. Here's a summary of Target Quake's features from the Target Quake page (where there's a FAQ if you've still got questions):

  • Totally new approach to Quake single player
  • Cinematic Style
  • Induces a high not unlike heroin
  • Have a kick ass time kicking the end boss' ass.
    (no pansy cop out ending here!)
  • Maps and QC innovatively intertwined
  • New weapons and monster behavior
  • Nifty secret stuff people always figure out way too quick
  • Design focus on gameplay rather than web design

The Cassandra Calamity
Another extremely cool (albeit more conventional) Quake project that's come my way recently is The Cassandra Calamity, or Mexx 10 (3.3 MB). This pak contains a pair of professional military base maps by Marcus Dromowicz that provide a tremendous single player experience: again, highly recommended. If you want corroboration from an SPQ expert, check out the rave review on SPQ Level Heaven.

Jedi Knight Jet Pack
Buckley Hopper has created a Jet Pack for Jedi Knight (17 KB). Thanks JediKnight.Net.

Riot on Voodoo2
There is an interesting tale in the weekly update on the Riot: Mobile Armor website, talking about API wars describing their negotiations with Microsoft to allow them to show Riot on the Voodoo 2 at Comdex using Glide, since Direct3D does not yet support dual TMU's.

QWF Skin Pack #3
The Quake Women's Forum has released their third skin pack (I'm depressed because I used my Hannibal Lecktor joke too recently to haul it out again).

Jedi Knight Dedicated Server Petition
I am not big on petitions, but the Jedi Knight Dedicated Server Petition seems like an awfully worthy cause. Only you can help prevent listen servers. Thanks DOOManiac.

QStat 1.6 Final
Version 1.6 of QStat, Steve Jankowski's command-line program to display the status of Internet Quake servers has emerged from beta (this version has been in Alpha/Beta nearly a year), and is available on the QStat page. Word from Steve is that version 2.0 will feature Quake II support.

.plans - "Happy Happy Joy Joy" - "The Best Game Ever!"
A few happy updates at id after finishing off the Quake II master:

P/Reviews

Competition
Never too early to sign up for a Quake II tournament. Details are on the eXtreme development page.

etc.
Two sites have received major facelifts:   The Quake II music team, Sonic Mayhem's site has been redone, and Prophet sends along word the SkinForge has also been overhauled. Both look amazing ... Speaking the Sonic Mayhem makeover, it was done by |2|, who also designed the online Quake II manual, which has (I'm finally getting to the point here) a funny Easter egg in it (I won't spoil it by posting it here) ... Got opinions? A new poll is up at UnrealNation. Thanks Prophet (on this topic, Bastard tells me the PQ polls will return soon) ... There are more new demos of Malice for Quake on the Team Epochalypse website (as well as a sad personal note for the webmaster). Thanks Prophet ... There is a sneak peak at the soon-to-be-released Requiem Front-End on the Requiem page ... Happy Birthday to Redwood who hits the big 25 today ... Finally thanks to RonSolo for hooking me up with SoloSpamTM, my mailbox will never be the same ...

Monday, December 1, 1997

Quake II Manual Online
id Software has posted the Online version of the Quake II manual. There is a lot of interesting info confirmed or revealed in there, including:

Bear on Quake II Availability
id Software's Barrett "Bear" Alexander sent along an email with word that the Quake II in-store date is being assessed as the disks go off to production, and word will be posted as soon as its available:

We (id and Activision) just had our Code Release Meeting about an hour ago, and Quake II is officially off to manufacturing.

Keep a watch out on the Internet for further news about the actual 'in stores' date. Activision is assessing the manufacturing schedule and will be putting something on the Web as soon as they have nailed it all down.

bootNET Interview Booted
The interview with John Carmack and Brian Hook that had been appearing in segments on bootNET that Brian Hook raised a public objection to seems to have been pulled in its entirety. Thanks Czar.

Quake II Gold!
A follow up to the previous story, John Carmack updated his .plan to confirm that the gold code for Quake II is done and being manufactured (thanks Process):

Quake 2 has mastered.

Where we go from here:

Point release.

We should have a Quake 2 point release out shortly after the game gets in your hands. We intend to fix any bugs that turn up, improve the speed somewhat, and optimize for internet play in various ways. We will also be making several deathmatch only maps.

Deathmatch in Q2 has gotten a lot of lan testing (Thresh, Redwood, and Vik Long helped quite a bit the last week with tuning), but not much internet testing. There are probably gaping holes in it, but we will address them soon.

The deathmatch code in the shipping Q2 is also not designed to hold up against malicious users -- there is no protection against clients being obnoxious and constantly changing skins, chat flooding, client-side cheating, or whatever.

Q2 does checksum maps on the client side right now, so cheater maps won't work like they do in Q1, but cheater models and skins are still possible. I have some plans to combat that in the point release, but there are a lot of forms of cheating that can be implemented in proxies that are fundamentally not detectable. I can make it very painfully difficult for people to implement such things, but a very clever person with a dissasembler just can't be stopped completely.

The server code and network protocol should be able to support ultra-large player counts, but I know I need to do some low-level work to get around operating system buffer limits before it will actually work. We will test at least a hundred players in a giant map for the point release, but we won't actually address the issues of making a rational game at that level (chat hierarchies, team spawning, etc). I am very much looking forward to seeing what the user community creates on that foundation.

It is likely that the point release may have incompatable network protocols and savegames. Fair warning.

Q2 Demo.

After the point release, we will be making a new demo release. If you experienced compatability problems with q2test, or were unsatisfied with the quality in some way, you should look at the demo. The final product is much improved.

Q2 Ports.

We are commited to Win32 Alpha, Linux, irix, and rhapsody in that order. It is likely that a bunch of other ports will come later, but no promises. The presence of hardware-accelerated OpenGL on a platform will improve it's odds a lot. Zoid will probably prioritize Q2 CTF over other ports, so hold off on bugging him about ports for a while.

Development tool release.

I will basically be making publicly available a subset of the directory tree that we will deliver to our licensees. All the utility source code, the game dll source code, and probably some example source media -- .map files, artwork, model source, etc.

Q2 mission pack.

Most of the company will be working on a mission pack while Brian and I write tools and technology for trinity.

Trinity.

I am going to rapidly wean myself off of working with quake so I can concentrate fully on new directions. The evolution of the Q2 codebase will be left to John Cash (until the mission pack ships) and Zoid.

Everyone should keep in mind that any next-generation game that we produce is a LONG way off, so don't start getting all worked up over it, ok?

For the curious, it does look like java is going to start playing a significant role in our future projects. All of the lightweight utilities will be java applications (some requiring OpenGL bindings). The heavy duty number crunching utilities will probably stay in C. It is still unclear how much of the game framework and the level editor we can get away with doing in java.

Quake II Gold?
This story turned out to be a rumor, thanks to Kit Chung for forwarding a message from id CEO Todd Hollenshead:

"Actually that rumor was false, but we did officially go gold at about 3:45 PM today."

According to the EBWorld.com website, inside sources at Activision reported that Quake II went gold (gold code goes to manufacturing) this morning. Thanks Garbage and Malec:

"According to inside sources at Activision, Quake 2 has gone Gold. The final product is in production for distribution later this week."

Unreal Stuff

"...We're right in the middle of reworking the software rendering code in an effort to provide nearly the same kind of stunning Unreal visuals you see in the 3DFX shots but on more 'normal' machines...."

"...I want to remind people that we are still paying special attention to MMX. There are a LOT of MMX machines in the marketplace now and we get some serious performance improvements with MMX."

Slipgate Central at One
Wow, time flies. Congrats to Joost Schuur on the occasion of Slipgate Central's first anniversary. For nostalgia, here's the press release that accompanied the site's launch, one year ago today.

Interviews (Updated)

Malice DM Pack
There are screenshots up on Epochalypse News of a Malice for Quake DM pack in the works. Thanks Prophet.

New QuArK
Version 4.05 of QuArK, the Quake Army Knife (712 KB), has been released on the QuArK Page, as well as qrk3dfx2.zip (23 KB), a 3Dfx module to allow the 3D editing view in QuArK. Also available on the QuArK page, along with details about what's new.

QBall Beta
Beta 4 of a Quake teamplay modification called QBall has been released on the Quadulem Entertainment page. Most interesting sounding new feature in this release? The "vicious referee". Thanks Hanif.

Tom's
There are a couple of articles of interest up on Tom's Hardware Guide, a review of Socket 7 Motherboards, and an update to their GLQuake/Quake II benchmarks. Problem is, you can't seem to read them with Netscape 3.x (I wrote Tom about this), in the meantime, Netscape 4.x and Explorer seem to work fine. Thanks Wicked (Voodoo Extreme).

PGL
The first round of qualification's for the PGL have been completed, and I see on sCary's that he has discovered that the PGL rules allow an unspecified number of bye's, so it's possible that unranked players (like Thresh), will be able to qualify anyway.

Smaller Sites Ring
Quaked.com is hoting a Small Site Developer's Quake Ring for smaller Quake-oriented sites to generate more exposure. Thanks Hanif.

Competitions

P/Reviews

etc.
There's an editorial by Aurora on GameGirlz called There's More to Life than 3D Shooters! that talks about other game genres. Thanks Hanif ... 'tis the Season: here's a Toys for Tots drive that is supported by (among others) ION Storm and Rebel Boat Rocker ... Log Parser of the Minute is GibStats, where version 1.6 has given way to version 1.6c. Thanks Amish  ...

Sunday, November 30, 1997

Java Brewing at id
Brian Hook made a .plan update that elaborates on id's current plans for exploring Java (also mentioned in today's bootNET segment with John Carmack). He also mentions his foray into level design. Here are a couple of excerpts from his update relating to both:

"...That said, we won't be writing Trinity in Java anytime soon, but we will look into using Java for our tools. The idea of writing a program once that runs on our NT, Win95, and SGI Irix boxes makes me all warm and fuzzy inside...."

"...Oh yeah, I'm a level designer now! WOO-HOO! Since I'm going to be working on the tools for Trinity John felt that I should know how the map editor works, so I finally caved and started doing a deathmatch map. It looks like crap, and plays even worse, but that baby is mine, all mine. :-)"

AirQuake 1.0 Fix

Another YPOD Fix

More Carmack on bootNET
The next segment of bootNET's interview with John Carmack (again with no comments included from Brian Hook), has been released on bootNET. Thanks Justin Hall. Today's topics include working in Java, and network computers, with some interesting comments about performance versus robustness.

2Fort5 Released - FortressFest Today
TeamFortress Software has released a new map: 2Fort5 (394 KB), a follow-up to the venerable 2Fort4 (thanks Bundy). There was a problem with the version first uploaded on the TeamFotress page, so make sure you have the right one if you were first on your block to download it. On a related note, remember that today kicks off PlanetQuake's FortressFest, a week-long celebration of all that is TeamFortress.

Jedi AI - QuakeC Bot Vision
There is a tutorial on Jedi Knight enemy AI on Inside3D. There is also a B.I.P. on giving Quake C 'bots realistic vision (instead of the eyes in the back of their heads that most of them have). This is a B.I.P. (Bot Improvement Protocol) as opposed to a R.I.P., as it works on any QuakeC bot, not just Reapers.

Quake Art / Quake II Art
The talented artists at CO2 Design are working on their own comic strip called "Death at DM5" with a "promised" release date of December 19 (thanks Amish). Also, another new repository of Quake II art has opened, Flasher's Quake 2 Art Vault is just getting underway: you can download some of the art they have available, and they'll gladly accept submissions.

Review
There is a review of the RIVA 128-based Canopus Total3D 128V on Operation 3Dfx.

Competitions

Movement
Upon Gibbed.Com's crash, the GL QuakeWorld Candid Camera has moved to www.akula.com/~medusa/3dfx/glqw/.

Departments
Updated the Lan Parties page with a few corrections, as well as the Want-Ads.

etc.
Quake II may not be out yet, but here's another new Trinity page ... The Fallen is an Irish site dedicated to Quake ... Thank you to the NYT Syndicate, who listed Blue's News (and my pals at Stomped) as must see websites in Computer News Daily (click on "The Must-see Web Sites, for Now"). Sorry about the bad link earlier, I can't seem to link the page directly. Thanks Norton ...

Saturday, November 29, 1997

Apology
Sorry to PCME for the phrasing in the earlier story about the Quake II release date. While I stand by my statement that the December 5 party has no bearing on the game's availability, using the word "silliness" was disrespectful, and I apologize.

Interviews (Updated)

YPOD Release Party Tonight
YPOD (Your Path of Destruction), the Doom Quake TC that has been in the works for some time now, is gearing up for their release, to take place in conjunction with an IRC event on 3DNet in channel #ypod, tonight at Midnight Central time. Though this came straight from CurMo, this information has not yet appeared on the Moxill Interactive QuakeTC Headquarters, but you should still probably stay tuned there for possible updates.

New QuAdS
Version 3.5 of QuAdS (Quake Add-on Starter), the Quake frontend, has been released on the QuAdS page. Here's the skinny:

The major new feature is server information - When you select a server QuAdS will retrieve information about the server and players over the net. Kinda inspired by QPlug, but works with both Quake and QuakeWorld servers! Another fun feature is random level  selection. Also, I've put up a bunch of new level images for the level preview feature.

New Jedi Knight Specs
Version 0.2 of the unofficial Jedi Knight specs (66 KB) have been released, compiled by DarkJedi.com. Thanks JediKnight.Net.

The Borg
Version 2.0 of the Borg (485 KB), a new monster created by Justin Cheng (Guardian), Kenneth Scott (The Dire Protofiend), and Dylan Brooks (Draco) has been released on the Borg page. The patch is a single simple level with a single Borg in it, so he's pretty easy to take out (even with just a single-barrel). He is pretty damn neat though, well modeled and textured, so here's hoping he pops up in a bigger project in the future (the authors' permission is required before using this monster in outside projects, though). BTW, for everyone getting pumped to download their own seven of nine, as far as I can tell this is unrelated to the Star Trek type of Borg: just so you know.

Reviews (Updated)

Quake II Release Date Rumors
I've been receiving more and more mail every day with "evidence" that Quake II's release is imminent (with less than a month before id's oft-stated goal of Christmas, that should be obvious). Now PCME has joined the silliness with a report that the Quake II party scheduled in LA on December 5 is proof that the game will be available before then, which is the wrong assumption to make. I was just speaking with Kevin from Activision about this party and he said it would offer the opportunity to play whatever the current build of Quake II is at that time (see the September 22, 1996 QuakeWorld launch party followed by the QW client release two months later on December 17, 1996). This does not mean that they will not be done by then (I'm sure they'd like to be), it just means that the December 5 party does not represent a hard deadline. If there was a firm date, they would announce it and get everyone off their backs, but with computer programming, where Murphy's Law rules, this is not the case (I point this out to try and dispell the notion that there is some sort of elite secret release date that's being covered-up).

More of the Bootleg bootNET Interview
The next portion of the bootNET interview with John Carmack and Brian Hook that Brian Hook complained about has been posted. There's no hint that id and boot have come to peace on this subject, though this snippet is shorter than its predecessors (again with no Hook). In this segment, John Carmack discusses shareware distribution.

Quake-Out
With the release of Quake II drawing nearer, Darin McNeil, of nihilism Unlimited, famed for the Zerstörer PC, sent along an unfinished (looks pretty done to me) patch, since work on it will not continue. The patch, a variation on the arcade game Araknoid (a breakout variant), is called Qnoid (541 KB), and is another remarkable example of adapting the Quake engine to create a game that has almost no recognizable Quake features.

Rocking that Rebel Boat
Rebel Boat Rocker Lead Level Designer Randy Pitchford updated his .plan with a massive missive on what is going on with RBR's 3D shooter in progress. Read it with the door locked, as Randy warns, he may have spilled too many beans:

Anyway, I've said too much. They're going to have to kill me now and cover up the mess I've made. So, if you're reading this, watch your back because the cleaner might be knocking.

etc.
Heh, now even my oddball 1152x864 resolution is now supported in the Quake Console Windows desktops mentioned yesterday on this page, created by HappyEvil's House Of Fun ... Log Parser of the Day (week?) is GibStats, now up to versionn 1.6 ...

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